Google had earnings per share of $12.01 in the fourth quarter of 2013 on revenue of $16.86 billion, up 17 percent from the same time last year.
Wall Street was expecting earnings per share of $12.26 on revenue of $16.75 billion.
Even so, the stock is up just slightly in after-hours trading.
As for net revenue — which accounts for the cost of traffic acquisition — analysts expected around $13.4 billion. Google’s actual net revenue was $13.55 billion.
So what’s going on here? It may be that the ad business is less profitable than analysts expected, or it may be increased costs.
Traffic acquisition costs were $3.31 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from $3.08 billion in 2012, but about the same as a percentage of advertising revenue.
Google also had a bunch of other increased expenses in the quarter. Costs including manufacturing and data center costs as well as operating expenses were up, though proportionally consistent with 2012.
We’ll learn more on the company earnings call shortly.