SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc. CEO Larry Page’s traditionally frosty relationship with Wall Street turned into a warm embrace Thursday after the Internet search leader released strong financial results for its latest quarter.
The results represented Page’s first report card since he became CEO at the start of the second quarter in April, ending the decade-long reign of his mentor, Eric Schmidt.
Although he established himself as engineering and entrepreneurial genius as Google’s co-founder, Page has made it clear since the company went public in 2004 that he is more interested in innovation than focusing on the short-term earnings targets set by stock market analysts.
Page’s standoffish attitude had raised concerns that Google might not exceed expectations as consistently as it did under Schmidt. The concern had been weighing on Google’s stock, causing it to lag well behind the technology-driven Nasdaq composite index.
But the second-quarter results at least temporarily erased the doubts about whether Google can thrive under Page’s unorthodox leadership.
Investors signaled their approval by boosting Google’s stock by more than 12 percent. That restored the stock price to where it stood before Page became CEO on April 4.
Page made analysts even happier by sticking around for the company’s hour-long conference call with analysts. That was a contrast to a cursory appearance he made at Google’s first-quarter call three months ago, which had fed perceptions that Page considered investor relations to be a waste of his time.
In his remarks, Page stressed that he intends to be a “careful steward of shareholders’ money,” while reiterating his intention to invest heavily in hiring more employees and expanding into other markets in pursuit of even bigger profits in the future.
“I see more opportunities for Google today than ever before because, believe it or not, we are still in the very early stages of what we want to do,” Page, 38, said.