Google disappoints as top tech firms post results

Google has disappointed the markets, as three major tech companies post their fourth-quarter results.

The internet search giant reported that revenues grew by 27% to $10.58 billion (£6.8 billion) in the final three months of 2011, with net profit advancing 6.4% to $2.7 billion.

However, Google shares fell by 10% in after-hours trading on the back of the results. Despite the revenue and profit growth, the figures came below analysts’ expectations.

Ken Sena, an analyst at Evercore Partners, tells Bloomberg: “One of the major concerns here is, given the performance on the top line, what does the margin picture look like going forward?”

Google is popular holding among US, global and technology-focused funds. It can be found in the portfolios of Cormac Weldon’s £1.6 billion Threadneedle American fund*, Aled Smith’s £1.2 billion M&G American fund*, Andy Headley and Charles Richardson’s £551m Veritas Global Focus fund** and Stuart O’Gorman and Ian Warmerdam’s £3445m Henderson Global Technology fund*.

Microsoft reported that profits fell slightly in the three months to the end of December. Net profit amounted to $6.62 billion, dropping from $6.63 billion in the previous quarter.

The world’s largest software company says its business was affected by falling computer sales, which hurt its core Windows products. The stock rose, however, as slowing Windows sales were widely anticipated. (article continues below)

Microsoft can be found in the portfolio of the Veritas Global Focus fund**.

It is also owned by Aris Vatis’ Fidelity American fund*** and Jon Bell’s Newton International Growth fund*, both of which manage £1 billion in assets.

Chip manufacturer Intel also posted its results for the last three months of 2011 and beat analysts’ expectations of lower revenues. Over the quarter, revenues rose 21% to $13.9 billion while profits gained 6% to $3.4 billion.

The company also says its will invest more in developing chips for new devices and pledging to increase capital expenditure to more than $12 billion this year, up from 2011’s $10.7 billion.

Intel can be found in the portfolios of the M&G American fund*, the Henderson Global Technology fund* and Mark Whitehead and Guy Monson’s £318m Sarasin International Equity Income fund*.

* as of December 31
** as of September 30
*** as of November 30

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