Google performs well, but below expectation

Google latest Q4 earnings reports might be the surest sign so far that the American economy is indeed backpedalling.

The Wall Street Darling reported a 17 percent Jump which was below what analysts had expected - although by a single penny - and caused its shares to fall to $526 per share after trading closed on 31st of January.

This represents a 25 percent fall since the beginning of the year and a $220 fall since its 52 week high.

Net income for the fourth quarter rose to $1.2 billion, or $3.79 per diluted share, from $1.0 billion in the previous financial year while sales grew by 51 percent, fuelled by its growing advertising business.

Google blamed Social Network websites for preventing it from growing even more; sites like Facebook and Myspace generally carry less Google advertising

Their users tend to click on adverts less than on other websites and behave differently because social networking environment tend to be immersive rather than exploratory.

Google's main competitors, Yahoo and Microsoft, were marginally down after the close while Baidu was significantly down.