Google Q4 Sales, Income Soar

NEW YORK Google posted strong sales and profits in the fourth quarter, helped by a strong demand for search advertising.

The Mountain View, Calif., search giant said overall revenue for the last three months of 2004 was $1.03 billion, more than double its Q4 performance in 2003. Excluding revenue shared with search distribution partners, Google’s sales were $654 million.

Google’s net income for the fourth quarter was $204 million, or 71 cents per share, compared to $27.3 million a year earlier. It took a $60 million charge against earnings to cover a stock-based compensation arrangement.

Google saw its strongest sales growth from is own sites, which generated $530 million, up 118 percent from the year-ago period. Search and content listings distribution partner sites on the Google Network produced $490 million, a 92 percent increase. The company paid $378 million, or 77 percent, of Google Network sales to partner sites.

The improved revenue and profit growth echoed a solid fourth quarter reported last month by Yahoo, which said demand had risen for both search and display advertising.

Keeping with its corporate practice, Google did not provide future financial forecasts.