Google sees 27% jump in Q3 profit

Optimistic CEO says 'worst of recession is behind us'

The economic downturn is over.

Well, if you're the world's top seller of Internet search advertising, it's over.

Google said Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose 27% over a year ago to $1.64 billion as revenue climbed 7% to $5.94 billion.

"The worst of the recession is clearly behind us," CEO Eric Schmidt said during a conference call with analysts Thursday. "We now have the confidence to be optimistic about our future."

That includes hiring more people, investing more money in technological innovations and acquiring smaller companies.

Google, said Schmidt, is "open for business to make strategic acquisitions both large and small."

Google also said U.S. consumers clicked on its online ads 14% more frequently than they did a year ago and 4% more than they did in the second quarter.

The Internet giant also said it would compete with Amazon.com's popular Kindle e-reader by selling digital books that could be read on any device with a Web browser.

Called Google Editions, its planned launch is in the first half of next year.

Google shares, which fell 1% to $529.91 in the regular session, jumped 3% in after-hours trading, exceeding a 52-week high.
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