Google announces stock dividend

By @ibtimes on

Google Inc announced plans to give investors a stock dividend on Thursday, as the search giant reported first quarter revenue roughly in line with Wall Street estimates.

Shares of Google, which finished Thursday's regular session at $651.01, rose to $655 in after-hours trading.

Google said its board of directors has approved a dividend of stock to existing shareholders that it calls a 2-for-1 stock split, preserving its corporate and control structure.

The announcement came as Google co-founder Larry Page completed a year after his return as chief executive.

Net revenue, excluding fees paid to partner websites, totaled $8.14 billion in the three months ended March 31, compared with $6.54 billion in the year-ago period and analysts' average estimate of $8.15 billion according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income was $2.89 billion, or $8.75 per share, compared with $1.80 billion, or $5.51 a share, in the year-ago period when Google took a $500 million charge to settle a government probe into its advertising practices.

Since taking the reins one year ago, Page has cut back on extraneous projects, launched a social networking service to challenge Facebook, and signed a $12.5 billion deal to acquire smartphone maker Motorola Mobility Inc.

(Reporting By Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Richard Chang)

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