Solid Q1 sets stage for Google's new CEO

Co-founder Larry Page takes over after a quarter with 27% revenue growth

Google reported solid growth in the first quarter, just as co-founder Larry Page prepares to usher in a new chapter in the company's history.

The search giant's revenue hit $8.58 billion for the quarter ending March 31, a 27% increase compared to the first quarter last year. Subtracting commissions and fees paid to its advertising network and other partners, revenue was $6.54 billion.

Net income in the quarter was $2.3 billion, or $7.04 per share, compared to $1.96 billion or $6.06 per share in the same period in 2010, using generally accepted accounting principles. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $2.64 billion, or $8.08 per share, compared to $2.18 billion or $6.76 per share last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting revenue without commissions of $6.32 billion and non-GAAP earnings of $8.11 per share.

Google-owned sites generated revenue of $5.88 billion in the quarter and partner sites generated revenue, through AdSense programs, of $2.43 billion. Revenue from outside the U.S. represented 53% of total revenue, up from 52% in the fourth quarter of 2010 but the same as the first quarter last year.

Earlier this year, Google announced that Larry Page, the company's co-founder, would become CEO, taking over for Eric Schmidt who would become executive chairman. The change took effect April 4, so the new leadership doesn't impact first quarter results.

Google planned to hold a conference call later Thursday to further discuss the results.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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