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Google trumps revenue estimates with strong online ad sales

While Google’s revenues for the latest quarter beat Wall Street estimates, profits underwhelmed.

For the second quarter, profits climbed 5.8% from the same period a year ago to $3.4 billion, or $4.99 per share. Revenues grew 22% to $16 billion.

Excluding certain commission paid to advertising partners, Google’s revenue was $12.8 billion, slightly higher than analyst expectations.

That Google (GOOG) reported strong revenues came as little surprise to Wall Street. But the company has also invested heavily in several areas: hiring another 2,200 employees for a total of 52,000 as well pouring money into areas like its futuristic research lab, Google X. Such moonshot projects like self-driving cars and contact lenses that measure glucose levels have made headlines but are nowhere near going to market.

Ad sales remain Google’s biggest source of sales. But as people increasingly use mobile devices, Google has struggled somewhat to make money from mobile ads. Further illustrating that point, Google reported that the number of paid clicks for ads climbed 25% versus the year prior but the value of each ad clicked dropped 6%.

But the biggest news was that Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora, planned to leave Google after nearly a decade to join Japanese Internet and telecommunications firm SoftBank as vice chairman and CEO of it Internet and media arm. He will be replaced at least temporarily by Omid Kordestani, who led Google’s sales team for years before retiring.

Google’s stock climbed less than 1% to nearly $578 a share in after-hours trading.