Google misses with Q4 sales and earnings

The company said it experienced 'strong currency headwinds' during the quarter

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Google disappointed Wall Street with its fourth quarter results, missing expectations for both sales and earnings, and growing its advertising business more slowly.

Total revenue for the period ended Dec. 31 was $18.1 billion, up 15 percent from the same period in 2013, Google reported Thursday. But after subtracting traffic acquisition costs, which is the portion of revenue shared with Google's partners, the company reported sales of $14.48 billion, well below analysts' consensus expectation of $14.61 billion, as polled by the Thomson Financial Network.

Google's net income for the quarter was $4.76 billion, a more than 40 percent jump.

But the company's adjusted earnings per share, which excludes certain expenses and expenditures, was $6.88, up from $6.70 in the year-ago period, but significantly short of the $7.08 projected by analysts.

Google's stock was trading at around $500.79 in the after-market hours after the release of the results, down 1.93 percent.

Paid clicks on ads on Google and partner sites rose by 14 percent. Growth in Google's paid clicks, however, has shrunk over the past several quarters.

The cost per click dropped by about 3 percent.

Google's total revenue for 2014 was $66 billion, up 19 percent.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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