The online giant reported revenues of 5.51 billion dollars for first quarter an increase of 6% compared to the first quarter of 2008 and a decrease of 3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. The decline stood however below analysts’ forecasts, JP Morgan seeing Google’s revenues down 43% from a quarter earlier.

Google’s net income for the first quarter of 2009 was 1.42 billion dollars (0.95 bln euros), namely 4.49 dollars on 317 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to 1.21 dollars for the fourth quarter of 2008, on 317 million diluted shares outstanding.

"Google had a good quarter given the depth of the recession”, said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. Nevertheless, the workforce was reduced to 20,164 from 20,222. At the end of last month, The Guardian learned that Google would downsize 200 employees of its global sales and marketing divisions, of which 100 discharged from Google’s operations in US.

Google’s shares rose 26% from the beginning of the year at Nasdaq Stock Market. Revenues from outside of the United States represented 52% of total revenues in the first quarter of 2009, up 50% from fourth quarter last year. Online advertising expenses are expected to drop 4.5% in 2009, compared to 10% increase in 2008, Emarketer found.

Nearly 64% of the US internet users used Google as search engine, being followed by Yahoo!Inc (21%) and Microsoft Corp (8.3%), ComScore informs.