Internet phenomenon Google (GOOG) reported third-quarter earnings that easily exceeded Wall Street expectations, sending the company's shares soaring immediately after the numbers were announced following the close of trading Thursday.
The strong results were an "October Surprise" of sorts for investors who have lately wondered whether Google's prodigious profit-making ability was beginning to wane. Last quarter, Google's results disappointed Wall Street. Not so this quarter.
Google, which dominates the online search advertising market, said it earned $7.64 a share excluding one-time items, handily beating Street expectations of $6.67 and last year's earnings per share of $5.89.
The company reported revenues of $7.29 billion in the third quarter -- putting Google's first $30 billion year within reach over over the next 24 months. It's clearly a stellar performance by the one-time Stanford dorm-room project that has come to be known as the "Mountain View Money Machine." (Google's corporate headquarters are located in Mountain View, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley.)
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, sounded pleased. "Google had an excellent quarter," Schmidt said in a statement. "Our core business grew very well, and our newer businesses -- particularly display and mobile -- continued to show significant momentum. Going forward, we remain committed to aggressive investment in both our people and our products as we pursue an innovation agenda."