Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced its earnings for the first quarter of 2012 today and surprised forecasters with better than expected figures. The company revealed earnings per share of $8.75 today beating analyst expectations of $8.51 per share. The company also showed better than expected revenue of $10.65 billion compared with forecasts of $8.15 billion. Since the announcement which was made just after close of market today the companies shares are up almost 1% in after hours trading. The stock had previously been up 2.37% for the day in anticipation of the results.
The company's earnings will be a boon to its stock price tomorrow morning when the market opens again. The company has been facing a spate of negative publicity lately and today's announcement should allay fears that the company is declining in performance and falling behind competitors. Worries about competitors centre on two of the other large tech companies, Facebook and Apple. The company is battling with Facebook over ad revenues as the social network seems in charge of more information on customers than the search giant. Apple's competition is slightly more straightforward with the two companies offering competing mobile platforms. Google still holds the lead on both companies but they are losing their head start in both sectors.
In other news the company decided to offer a dividend to its shareholders, an announcement it made with the earnings figures. It will be the first time the company's stock holders will receive a dividend. The company's cash reserves are now at $50 billion and the dividend will be paid from that pile. The move follows Apple's similar move earlier this year based on it's own swelling reserves which double Google's at $100 billion. The move will make investors happy and lead them to more easily accept Google's other move, the dividing of its stock.
The company announced that it would release a new type of stock in the firm that will not have voting rights.The stock will be listed as class C and will be listed on the NASDAQ like Google's original stock. The move is designed according to Google to maintain control of the firm in the hands of the company's founders and management rather than investors. The company previously released Class B shares which had ten votes per share. The company's elation today along with the two moves that will concern investors mean tomorrow will be an interesting day in the firms trading history.