Google parent company Alphabet beat Wall Street expectations for its fourth quarter earnings Monday, but its stock slid in after-hours trading.

The company reported profit of $8.9 billion US on revenue of $39.3 billion.

Its revenue grew more than 21 per cent from $32.3 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings per share of $10.86, or a profit of $7.6 billion, on revenue of $38.9 billion. Earnings per share were actually $12.77.

Alphabet’s advertising commissions, or the money it pays other companies to direct people to its search, grew 14 per cent to $7.4 billion from $6.5 billion a year ago.

Alphabet’s stock price dropped roughly three per cent despite the beat in after-market trading Monday.

Investors may fear internet advertising is saturated. Google is facing new pressure in digital advertising from Amazon and other players and has dropped its price per click — the amount it charges advertisers — to stay competitive.

Google continues to grow its cloud business and hardware sales, which brought in $6.49 billion during the quarter.

Other businesses, such as health venture Verily and self-driving start-up Waymo, were more disappointing at $154 million in revenue.

Alphabet shares have climbed nine per cent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen roughly nine per cent. In the final minutes of trading on Monday, shares hit $1,141.42, a rise of two per cent in the last 12 months.

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