Google Q3 earnings up 26%; shares rise after hours

Search giant beats Wall Street expectations for revenue, earnings; brag about Google+

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Shares of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) jumped as high as 7% in extended trading Thursday after the search giant reported a 29% increase in third-quarter net income, exceeding Wall Street expectations.

The company's stock hit 597.99 in late-hours trading after closing Thursday at 558.99, a gain of 7.0%.

Google reported third-quarter profits of $2.73 billion, or $8.33 a share, up 25.9% from the $2.17 billion, or $6.72 a share in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted income of $9.72 a share easily surpassed consensus estimates of 8.74 a share, while net revenue (excluding traffic acquisition costs) of $7.51 billion topped Wall Street expectations of $7.2 billion.

"We had a great quarter,” Larry Page, CEO of Google, said in a statement accompanying the earnings report. “Revenue was up 33% year on year and our quarterly revenue was just short of $10 billion. Google+ is now open to everyone and we just passed the 40 million user mark. People are flocking into Google+ at an incredible rate and we are just getting started!"

Indeed, Google+ should be a prime topic of conversation during the post-earnings conference call. The social networking platform was designed to challenge Facebook, but was called a "pathetic afterthought" in a rant by a Google engineer inadvertently posted on Google+.

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