Google Inc., operator of the world’s largest search engine, closed at a record high, buoyed after reporting earnings last week that topped estimates as advertisers boosted spending to reach holiday shoppers.
The shares advanced 2.6 percent to close at $775.60 in New York. They have gained 34 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 14 percent increase for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Fourth-quarter profit, excluding certain items, rose to $10.65 a share, Google said Jan. 22. Analysts had projected per-share earnings of $10.50, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Google’s earnings were boosted after retailers poured money into online advertising and extended the gift-buying season. Total U.S. e-commerce spending jumped 14 percent during the last two months of 2012 as retailers began promoting Web deals earlier, according to ComScore Inc. That’s helping compensate as Google relies more on mobile advertising, which tends to be less lucrative than ads on traditional computers.
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