Google: Worst is behind us

Online search giant reports revenue and earnings that trump Wall Street’s estimates, saying the worst of the recession is over.

By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Google said Thursday the worst of the recession has passed, as it reported quarterly profit and sales that rose from year-earlier results and easily trounced Wall Street’s forecasts.

“Google had a strong quarter — we saw 7% year-over-year revenue growth despite the tough economic conditions,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, on a conference call with investors. “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.”

Google’s strong third quarter could be a good sign for the economy, as the company’s ad clicks serve as a kind of barometer of consumers’ willingness to spend. The more people click on ads, the more willing they are to buy things.

“It’s all good news from our perspective,” said Schmidt. “I’m very proud of our management team in what could have been a very significant downturn for Google.”

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