Google (GOOG) on Tuesday reported better-than-expected profit for its fourth quarter and, more important, revealed hopeful signs that the longtime Internet powerhouse is gaining the upper hand as it wrestles with the challenge of making money from the mobile computing boom.
Shares rose 5 percent in late trading after Google reported a slight improvement in a key business indicator -- the average price advertisers pay each time someone clicks on a Google ad -- which analysts viewed as a sign that wary businesses are beginning to see more value in
"If this continues to get better," said analyst Josh Olson of the Edward Jones investment firm, "we can see there's light at the end of the tunnel."
Google, one of Silicon Valley's most profitable companies, also reported some progress in overhauling its Motorola hardware division, which the software giant bought last year in an effort to expand its smartphone and tablet business. Google has been cutting costs and staff in that division, and recently announced plans to sell a Motorola unit that makes TV set-top boxes.
While acknowledging the company has more work to do, both in the hardware division and its efforts to garner more revenue from mobile software applications, CEO
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