EARNINGS

Google Profit Soars, But Stock Falls

Google reported that its second-quarter profit quadrupled to $342.8 million, as the online search leader's growth continued to exceed expectations. Revenue totaled $1.38 billion, nearly doubling from the same period last year.

The company released its results after financial markets closed. Google stock dropped $19.68, or 6.27 percent, to $294.26 at 8 p.m. in extended trading, as investors apparently fretted about a slowdown in the company's growth. Google is under immense pressure to produce extraordinary earnings growth because of its climbing stock performance since its initial public offering at $85 a share in August.

Microsoft Profit Up for Quarter, Year

Microsoft said its fourth-quarter profit climbed 37.5 percent, to $3.7 billion from $2.69 billion. Revenue increased 9.4 percent, to $10.16 billion.

Profit for the year ended June 30 rose by nearly 50 percent, to $12.25 billion from $8.17 billion in fiscal 2004. Revenue rose 8 percent, to a record $39.79 billion.

Nextel Sales Rise as Profit Falls

Nextel Communications announced an increase in sales and subscribers but said its profit declined sharply, largely because of a tax benefit last year. The Reston company said second-quarter profit fell to $524 million (46 cents a share), compared with $1.3 billion ($1.16) in the corresponding period last year. Revenue rose to $3.8 billion, compared with $3.3 billion.

Nextel, which plans to merge with Sprint by the end of the summer, said it added 763,000 customers during the quarter, including 213,000 new subscribers for its Boost Mobile prepaid service.

MedImmune Reports Loss

MedImmune of Gaithersburg reported a second-quarter loss of $44.2 million loss (18 cents a share) on $88.5 million in revenue, compared with a $100.3 million loss (40 cents) on $93.6 million in revenue in the corresponding year-ago period.

VIDEO GAMES

Grand Theft Auto Rating Depresses Shares

Take Two Interactive Software shares fell after its Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game received an adults-only rating because it includes hidden sexual content. Wal-Mart and other retailers removed the title from their shelves.

Take-Two cut its profit forecast after the game received the rating Wednesday from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. The shares fell $1.33, or 4.9 percent, to close at $25.74 yesterday.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.