Google Inc. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit rose as its ability to capitalize on Web advertising gained momentum against such rivals as Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Profit grew to $1 billion compared with $372.2 million in same frame a year ago, and revenue rose 67% to $3.21 billion. The figure includes $976 million in traffic acquisition costs, the financial cut that affiliated sites receive for featuring Google advertising. The results topped Wall Street expectations. Google shares gained 1.5% to $501.50 during the regular session Wednesday but fell in after-hours trading.
The New York Times Co. posted a $648 million fourth-quarter loss Wednesday after writing down the value of its troubled New England media business, but operating results beat estimates and the publisher's shares rose 1.5% to $23.24. Excluding the $814.4 million write-down, profit would have climbed to a better-than-expected $87.9 million, from $63.2 million a year ago, driven by a healthy digital business, cost controls and a strong December performance at the New York Times. Revenue rose 4.3% to $931.5 million. The company recently agreed to sell its broadcast media group for $575 million.
Shares of XM Satellite Radio rose 2.2% on Wednesday to $14.21 after executives announced a seven-year extension to an agreement with Toyota Motor Sales USA to have its radios installed in Toyota and Lexus models. The new deal extends an existing pact from 2010 to 2017. XM this week also extended its relationship with Honda America to 2016. XM has deals with carmakers that account for about 59% of total U.S. vehicle production, while Sirius has locked in pacts with the rest.