The economic downturn is over.
Well, if you're the world's top seller of Internet search advertising, it's over.
Google said Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose 27 percent over a year ago to $1.64 billion as revenue climbed 7 percent to $5.94 billion.
"The worst of the recession is clearly behind us," CEO Eric Schmidt said during a conference call with analysts Thursday. "We now have the confidence to be optimistic about our future."
That includes hiring more people, investing more money in technological innovations and acquiring smaller companies.
Google, said Schmidt, is "open for business to make strategic acquisitions both large and small."
Google also said U.S. consumers clicked on its online ads 14 percent more frequently than they did a year ago and 4 percent more than they did in the second quarter.
The Internet giant also said it would compete with Amazon.com's popular Kindle e-reader by selling digital books that could be read on any device with a Web browser.
Called Google Editions, its planned launch is in the first half of next year.
Google shares, which fell 1 percent to $529.91 in the regular session, jumped 3 percent in after-hours trading, exceeding a 52-week high.