Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Earnings Miss: Why Shareholders Shouldn't Fret

Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) stock was mostly flat in after-hours trading after reporting Q4 earnings per share (EPS) of $12.01 on revenue of $16.86 billion. Analysts had projected EPS of $12.19 on revenue of $16.76 billion.

While Google's EPS missed projections, the $16.86 in revenue represented a 17% gain, year over year.

Investors were watching closely for Google's advertising figures, specifically paid clicks.

Paid clicks in Q4 increased by 13% from the third quarter, and 31% from the previous year. In its previous earnings report, GOOG reported paid click growth of 8% from the previous quarter and 26% from the previous year. That growth is big for investors.

Last quarter, Google introduced its "enhanced campaigns" program, which allows users to create advertisements that can be displayed across multiple platforms. Clearly, the campaign is contributing to Google's bottom line.

The search engine giant also reported that its core Internet business totaled $15.7 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter - a gain of 22% from the previous year.

Earlier in the day, GOOG stock jumped nearly 4% on news that it had sold its Motorola Mobility division to Lenovo. GOOG purchased the division for $12.5 billion in May 2012 and will sell it to Lenovo for $2.9 billion.

That sale is great news for investors. In today's report, GOOG reported an operating loss of $384 million for Motorola Mobility in Q4. That dwarfs a third-quarter loss of $248 million.

Investing in Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Stock Now

GOOG stock was close to even in after-hours trading. In the last year, GOOG has jumped more than 50%.

The good news from today's earnings report is just one reason why Google remains an attractive tech stock.

According to Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani, Google is the type of tech stock that investors should own right now. Huge tech stocks like Google are bellwethers for the entire tech industry, and Gilani forecasts a strong year for the markets in 2014.

"[Technology stocks] are all going to rise. I think all boats are going to rise with the tide. I think we're at the beginning of a generational bull market in my opinion," Gilani said on "Varney & Co."

The fact that Google continues to acquire tech companies and startups is another factor that makes Google appealing to Money Morning's Defense & Tech Specialist Michael Robinson. Most recently, Google's acquisition of "smart" thermostat maker Nest shows its dedication to innovation.

"Google is like a future tech ETF with current cash flow," Robinson told Stuart Varney on FOX Business. "These guys throw up a lot of cash and they're involved with the 'Internet of Everything.' This is part of a broad initiative."

The bar was set pretty high for Google in terms of earnings this quarter, so the fact that it missed slightly should not have investors worried. Strong growth in revenue and in paid-click advertising are two very bullish signs for GOOG shareholders.

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