"The core business is a great business and the fourth-quarter is always a time for Google to shine," said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial. "However, Motorola is still losing money and click rates still declined. They only declined 6 percent, but go back four or five quarters and click prices were improving. So mobile is still pressuring click prices."
Although the average cost per click declined, aggregate paid clicks rose roughly 24 percent over the comparable period and 9 percent compared to the previous quarter.
Investors will be paying close attention to clues about the company's position in the mobile market, an area seen as crucial by analysts as smartphones become more dominant, and its reported advertising revenue per click.
This quarter, Google said it is treating its Motorola Home unit as "discontinued operations" and separating the group's results from the rest of its businesses in its earnings release. This switch has sparked some confusion among Wall Street analysts, many of whom are still including Motorola Home in their estimates for Google's earnings.
An earlier version of this story had Google earnings ex-items at $10.65 a share. In fact, the comparable number to analysts' estimates is $10.59 a share, which includes a loss of six cents a share at its Motorola Home unit, which was sold in December. Analysts' estimates were excluding items but still included Motorola Home.