Google Founders Play a Stock Trick to Maintain Control

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Sergey Brin and Larry Page pulled a fast one on Wall Street today, not only releasing reasonably impressive quarterly earnings numbers but also creating a new class of non-voting shares -- "effectively a stock split," as they put it in a press release.

This is Google's first ever stock split, and it means that Brin and Page will maintain control over their company, which now has over 33,000 employees and continues to grow. "Maintaining this founder-led approach is in the best interests of Google, our shareholders and our users," they said.

However not everyone on Wall Street agreed. Even though their revenues are at $2.89 billion (up 24 percent year-over-year) Google's stock split as well as the dividend they announced on Thursday show that the Google has plateaued, according to the pundits at Zerohedge. Digging deep into the numbers also shows that as Google grows, the advertisers that keep their lights on are actually fleeing. Google's cost-per-click -- that is, the measure of how eager advertisers are to advertise with the search giant -- fell 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 and, even worse, 12 percent in 2012. It looks like Brin and Page are having a hard time wrangling this dangerous trend. But at least no pesky new voting shareholders will get in the way of them trying to solve the problem themselves.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.