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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) this afternoon reported first quarter results that dramatically beat Street expectations, sending the shares soaring in after hours trading.

Google reported revenue of $5.19 billion, or $3.7 billion excluding traffic acquisition costs. Non-GAAP EPS was $4.84 a share. The Street had expected $3.61 billion and $4.52.

Google-owned sites revenue totaled $3.4 billion, up 49% versus last year and 9% sequentially.

Google network revenues were $1.69 billion, up 25% versus last year and 3% sequentially.

International revenues were 51% of total revs, up from 48% in Q4 and 47% a year ago.

Headcount at March 31 was 19,156, up from 16,805 at December 31, an increase of nearly 14%. Of the 2,351 people added, about 1,500 were from DoubleClick.

Update:

In its post-earnings conference call this afternoon, Google CEO Eric Schmidt noted that the company’s paid clicks in the first quarter were “much higher than speculated by third parties.”

CFO George Reyes said paid clicks grew 20% year over year, and 4% sequentially from Q4.

Schmidt says the company was “obviously very pleased” with results for the quarter.

Some other tidbits:

  • Google noted that there have been a 10% reduction in headcount at DoubleClick since the company completed the acquisition; Reyes said another 15% of the DoubleClick staff is also likely to leave.
  • Sergey Brin said the company had launched over 100 search quality improvements in the latest quarter, including a new home page for Japan, and universal search for Korea.
  • You can search within a site on a search results page. (Try it, search for NASA.)
  • On Maps: StreetView now deployed in 30 cities. Now allow corrections from users. See maps.google.com/recentedits.Mobile search now faster; available in 40 languages.
  • Mobile search traffic growing “very rapidly,” Brin says. New version of mobile YouTube, with access to entire video library. Mobile playback increased “tremendously.”
  • On spectrum auction, Brin says they were “pleased” that winners will adopt open access concepts.
  • Larry Page says YouTube seeing 10 hours of video uploaded every minute. Launched AdSense for Video, seeing much better click through than for banner ads.
  • On CFO search: Schmidt says they have “a whole bunch of interesting candidates,” but have not made any offers yet.

Schmidt repeated that the company is not seeing any impact from macro factors. He says the company is well positioned if economics change to continue to do well.

In after hours trading, GOOG is now up $58.17, or 12.9%, to $507.71.

Source: Google Rocks, Sharply Beats the Street; Paid Clicks Well Up