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Alphabet shares sink despite healthy profit

Tyrone Stewart

GoogleplexGoogle parent company Alphabet reported a 22 per increase in revenue, reaching $39.3bn, in the fourth quarter of 2018. This topped Wall Street estimates, but the company still saw its share price sink due to rising costs.

On its revenue, Alphabet made a profit of $8.9bn – a significant improvement on the $3bn loss suffered for the same period last year. This wasn’t enough to stop stock falling by more than three per cent, however.

A 26 per cent increase in cost and expenses, growing to $31.1bn for the final quarter of 2018, and a fall in profit margins didn’t leave investors feeling entirely comfortable. This spending was pushed up by staff being added to the company’s cloud computing division and the buying of office buildings in California and New York, among other things.

Furthermore, Alphabet’s ‘Other Bets’ business – which includes self-driving car company Waymo and LTE balloon venture Loon – saw quarterly operating losses jump by 78 per cent to reach $1.3bn, despite an 18 per cent increase in revenue to $154m.

“With great opportunities ahead, we continue to make focused investments in talent and infrastructure needed to bring exceptional products and experiences to our users, advertisers and partners around the globe,” said Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google.

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