Stocks to Watch: Google, IBM, Apple
NEW YORK -- Google(GOOG) , the search giant, posted fourth-quarter earnings growth of 12%.
Google earned $10.65 a share in the quarter on $11.3 billion in revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs. With TAC, Google generated $14.42 billion in sales, up 36% from the same period last year.
"We ended 2012 with a strong quarter," CEO Larry Page in a prepared statement following the release of the results after Tuesday's close of trading. "Revenues were up 36% year-on-year, and 8% quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50 billion in revenues for the first time last year -- not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half. "
Analysts were expecting Google to earn $10.49 a share on fourth-quarter revenue of $12.3 billion.
Cost-per-click, a key metric for ads, fell 6% year over year, but rose 2% on a sequential basis, Google said.
IBM (IBM) topped Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings estimates, boosted by strength in its software business.
The tech giant reported revenue Tuesday of $29.3 billion, down from $29.5 billion in the same period last year, but above analysts' estimates of $29.09 billion. Excluding items, IBM earned $5.39 a share, up from $4.71 a share a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of $5.25 a share.
Software revenue in the quarter rose 3% (or 4% adjusted for currency) to $7.9 billion.
For fiscal 2013, IBM expects earnings, excluding items, of $16.70 a share. Analysts forecast earnings of $16.63 a share.
Apple(AAPL) , the iPod, iPhone and iPad maker, is expected by analysts Wednesday to post quarterly earnings of $13.43 a share on revenue of close to $55 billion.
Shares of the tech giant have fallen more than 20% over the past three months, which has prompted research firms to posit that there may be waning interest in Apple's products.
Kantar Worldpanel issued a note that showed while Apple has more than 50% market share in the United States, with 51.2% as of Dec. 23, that's down from 53.3% as of Nov. 25, leading to perhaps a growing concern that Apple products are growing stale.