google logoGoogle Inc. is expected to surpass another financial milestone when the Internet search leader releases its fourth-quarter results Thursday afternoon.

If analyst forecasts pan out, it will be the first time that Google has earned at least $3 billion in any three-month period since the company started in a rented Silicon Valley garage in 1998. It would be the third straight quarter that Google’s net income has increased by at least 20 percent from the previous year.

The streak of steady growth has occurred since Google co-founder Larry Page replaced Eric Schmidt as CEO in early April. Google’s performance since then has eased worries among investors that the company’s earnings would falter under Page, who has made it clear he is willing to sacrifice short-term profits to pursue projects that might not pay off for years.

Wall Street now seems more confident that Page will ensure Google remains a well-oiled moneymaking machine. The company’s stock price has gained 7 percent since Page became CEO while the technology-driven Nasdaq composite index has dipped by about 1 percent during the same period. Google shares closed Wednesday at $632.91.

Although it also has become a force in mobile software, e-mail, Web browsers and online video, Google still depends on its dominance of search to bring in most of its revenue.

Becoming the go-to place to find things online has also turned Google into the Internet’s biggest advertising hub. Being in that position paid off during the final three months of the year as more people did their holiday shopping on Internet-connected computers and mobile devices.

Read More: Yahoo News