Google Q3 Earnings Surge, Beat Forecasts

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Web search leader Google Inc. (GOOG) Thursday posted a sharp rise in quarterly profit that topped Wall Street profit and revenue expectations, sending shares of the high-flying stock 7.5 percent higher.

Google reported third-quarter net income rose to $381.2 million, or $1.32 per diluted share, more than six times higher than the year-ago quarter's $52.0 million, or 19 cents a share. The prior quarter included a non-cash charge of $201.0 million to settle a patent dispute with rival Yahoo Inc. (YHOO).

Shares of Google$1.10 and $1.37 per share.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported $1.51 per share. The analysts' consensus forecast, excluding one-time items was $1.36.

"It's another incredible quarter for Google," said Jordan Rohan, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. "They gained significant market share from every search provider," he said.

Gross revenue jumped 96 percent to $1.58 billion. Analysts, on average, had projected revenue of $1.46 billion, with forecasts ranging from $1.39 billion to $1.51 billion. Nearly all of Google's revenue comes from advertising sales.

Adjusting for special items, Google shares are valued at 42 times next year's estimated profits, matching rival Yahoo, but more than twice the valuation level of the S&P 500 index .

Google had 4,989 employees at the end of September, up 19 percent from the end of June as the company continued a furious hiring expansion.

Google, whose stock is up a spectacular 339 percent since its initial public offering 14 months ago, has more or less treaded water for the past four months.