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Google beats analysts' expectations, sending stock up in after-hours trading

October 15, 2009 |  2:00 pm

Google Inc. reported a 27% increase in profits during the third quarter, signaling renewed strength for the Internet search giant and increasing hopes that the online technology sector might be trending toward recovery.

The company's gross revenue increased 7% to $5.94 billion from $5.54 billion during the same period last year.

Following the announcement of the quarterly performance, which beat analysts' expectations, the company's stock rose as much as $15 a share -- or almost 3% -- in after-hours trading

“Google had a strong quarter,” Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in a statement. “While there is a lot of uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery, we believe the worst of the recession is behind us and now feel confident about investing heavily in our future.”

Schmidt praised his executive staff, saying the relative health of the company through the nation's recession "has proven the worth of this team," which focused on cost-cutting measures while the company waited for the economy to improve.

Google said it had resumed hiring, after paring its payroll last quarter -- a rarity for the fast-growing company.

-- David Sarno