Alphabet -2.5% despite Q4 beats

Alphabet Blows Away Q4 Earnings Estimates Shares Fall

Bulls Look to Alphabet Results to Keep Tech Stock Rally Going

Figures for the company year-over-year are up nearly across the board, with the notable exception of Google's traffic acquisition costs (TAC) and operating losses for Google's "Other bets" category.

Yet Alphabet continues to deliver strong top-line growth, which is impressive considering that its revenue base was $137 billion previous year.

Overall, Alphabet revenue was $136.8 billion for 2018, up 23% year-over-year, with $39.3 billion quarterly revenue, up 22%, the company said.

Not surprisingly, Google Home was the breakout hit for the company over the holiday season.

Concerns appear to be around how much Google is able to charge advertisers for ads.

Alphabet expects growth in both capital expenditures and headcount to slow in 2019, CFO Ruth Porat said Monday on the company earnings call.

Google network revenues - display ad cash from non-Google sites - were $5.6bn were up 12 per cent from $5bn last year's quarter. Ad revenue on the video platform rose 11% year over year in the third quarter, and just over half of advertisers have renewed their spending on YouTube. The company's higher-growth businesses, which also include YouTube, are less profitable than the original Google desktop search service.

Google's main source of competition is not Facebook but Amazon. "We are confident that Google will continue to have rising paid click volumes for the foreseeable future".

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On Monday Apple briefly became the world's most valuable company once again as investors continued to absorb its better than expected results from last week.

Pichai said Google's cloud computing unit a year ago doubled the number of deals it struck worth more than $1 million.

He's happy Google is spending heavily on YouTube, cloud and hardware.

The company's "other bets", including its autonomous driving division Waymo and its life sciences and cybersecurity units, took in $154 million in revenue. On its earnings call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said its cloud business was "one of the fastest growing businesses across Alphabet", but that's likely a function of how small it is - if I'm earning a dollar a day and then I start earning two dollars a day, I've increased my earnings by 100 percent. Operating losses were $1.33 billion.

Alphabet reported that Google's capital expenditures more than doubled. This year's earnings per share are expected to rise a modest 7% due in part to a comparison with 2018, which had almost $6 a share in equity gains.

"Acquisitions are an attractive complement to what we do to drive organic growth", Porat said on Monday.

Cloud engineers and sales professionals also made up the bulk of the 4,000 employees it hired during the quarter, Porat said.

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