Now we can see why Google picked yesterday to announce the sale of its Motorola Mobility smartphone business to Lenovo. If it hadn’t, then the search giant likely would be bombarded by questions about its new Q4 report showing that the unit lost $384M, up from its $152M loss in the same period last year. The rest of the report is much less troublesome, resulting in a 4.5% increase in the company’s stock price in after-market trading. Google generated net income of $3.38B, +17% vs Q4 in 2012, on revenues of $16.86B, +16.9%. The revenue number beat Wall Street’s forecasts for $16.75B. But adjusted earnings per share, at $12.01, missed predictions for $12.26. Gross ad sales improved 16.5% to $14.07B, as the number of paid clicks increased 31% from the end of 2012. But the cost per click dropped 11%. Even so, CEO Larry Page says that the company “made great progress across a wide range of product improvements and business goals.” He added that he’s “very excited about improving people’s lives even more with continued hard work on our user experiences.”
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