Google Revenues Rise 27%, But Fall Short of Wall Street Expectations

Net earnings of $8.08 per share miss analysts’ estimates

Google announced its first quarter financials on Thursday, with revenues up 27 percent year over year.

The search giant reported revenues of $6.54 billion and earnings of $8.08 per share — but the results fell short of what Wall Street was expecting ($6.32 billion and $8.13 per share).

Nonetheless, Larry Page — newly installed as Google’s day-to-day CEO — called it a “tremendous quarter.”

“We’re still at the beginning from a user perspective,” Page said during a conference call with investors. (The notoriously media-shy Page's short appearance on the call was a surprise — though he didn't stick around for the Q+A.)

Operating income — $2.80 billion — grew 17 percent over 2010's $2.49 billion first quarter.

During the conference call, Google executives boasted its Chrome browser has seen a 40 percent spike in 2011 — with 120 million daily users.

They also boasted the company's 2011 hiring spree.

Google hired 1,900 new employees during the first quarter — or about a third of the 6,000 employees the company previously announced it would hire in 2011. (Google now employs 26,316 full-time employees up from 24,400 full-timers at the end of 2010.)

"We're bullish about our future," Google CFO Patrick Pichette said.

They certainly have the cash to be. As of March 31, 2011, Google's "cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities" were $36.7 billion.

Click here for the full earnings release.