Google Inc. eked out a higher profit in the first quarter, although the Internet search leader's revenue growth decelerated to the slowest pace since the company went public nearly five years ago. The company boosted its profit largely by cutting costs, including reducing the size of its work force for the first time since its August 2004 IPO.
Google earned $1.42 billion, or $4.49 per share, a 9% increase from $1.31 billion over last year. If not for costs for employee stock compensation, Google said it would have made $5.16 per share, exceeding analysts' estimates. Google shares climbed $20.26, more than 5%, in extended trading. In a telling sign of the recession's toll, Google's revenue fell from one quarter to the next for the first time. Its revenue in the prior quarter had been $5.7 billion.