Google reports 14% Q3 profit hike despite Motorola unit's sales dive

Quarterly revenue approaches $15 billion, up 12%, despite mixed results in Google's advertising business

Google's quarterly sales increased again, although the company reported mixed results within its advertising business and a decrease in its Motorola mobile sales.

Revenue was $14.89 billion for the period ended Sept. 30, the company announced Thursday. That's a 12% increase from the same period last year, excluding commissions and fees, or traffic acquisition costs that Google pays to other sites that run its ads. Taking those into account, the company's sales were $11.92 billion.

Google's net income for the quarter was $2.97 billion, a roughly 36% jump from the $2.18 billion reported for the third quarter last year. The company's earnings per share were $8.75, up strongly from $6.53 last year.

"We are closing in on our goal of a beautiful, simple and intuitive experience regardless of your device," Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement regarding the company's progress toward addressing the shift by users to mobile devices.

Looking specifically at its advertising business, however, Google saw more mixed results. Paid clicks, or the clicks on search ads paid for by advertisers, increased by 26% over the third quarter of 2012, Google said, and increased by 8% over 2013's second quarter. But the cost of paid clicks, or the money Google charges when someone clicks on an ad, fell by 8% over last year, and also decreased by 4% compared to this year's second quarter, Google reported.

There was also a decrease in revenue from Motorola mobile, which includes hardware. That unit's sales were $1.18 billion, or 8% of Google's consolidated revenue -- about a 33% drop.

Google paid more than $12 billion to buy Motorola Mobility last year. The highly anticipated Moto X smartphone, the first phone designed after the acquisition, launched in August with a focus on more user-friendly features.

Meanwhile, Google-owned sites generated revenue of $9.39 billion, a 22% increase over the same period last year, Google reported. The company's partner sites contributed revenue of $3.15 billion, roughly flat compared to last year.

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

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon