Google parent’s revenues beat projections, but investors wary
Google parent company Alphabet on Monday delivered another stellar performance, reporting first-quarter profit and revenue that beat forecasts — as its ad business continued to hum along.
The tech titan’s $31.15 billion of revenue beat Wall Street’s $30.29 billion estimate — a 22 percent year-on-year improvement. However, operating income margins dropped to 22 percent from 27 percent a year ago.
The Mountain View, Calif., company also crushed profit expectations, reporting $13.33 earnings per share compared with the forecast $9.30, on profits of $9.4 billion.
The depressed margins seem to depress investors — as Alphabet shares in after-hours trading managed just a 54 cent increase, to $1,067.99.
“Our ongoing strong revenue growth reflects our momentum globally,” said Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat. “We have a clear set of exciting opportunities ahead, and our strong growth enables us to invest in them with confidence.”
Advertisements continue to be the bread and butter of Alphabet’s business, with global ad sales increasing to $31.1 billion, beating analyst estimates of $30.3 billion.
Google’s “other revenues” category, which includes its cloud business as well as hardware sales such as the Pixel phone and Google Home smart speakers, reported $4.35 billion in revenue, up from last quarter’s $3.2 billion.
The company had said in February that it would be rolling its Nest smart home devices into the “other revenues” umbrella with the rest of its hardware.
“I feel we are taking the steps toward being able to do [hardware] well in the long term,” CEO Sundar Pichai said in a conference call. “The opportunity is clearly there — we are going to lean into it.”
Also on the call, Porat addressed Google’s $2.5 billion purchase of Chelsea Market in downtown Manhattan.
“We favor owning rather than leasing real estate when we see good opportunities,” she said.
Alphabet’s noncore assets, like the Waymo self-driving car unit, Google Fiber and life sciences firm Verily — which the company doesn’t break out individually, listing them as one under “Other Bets” — cut operating losses to $571 million in the quarter, down from $703 million last year.
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