Alphabet, cough, Google most valuable biz on Earth as it pours billions into 'other bets'

Plenty of doh-ray-mi from ads as Fiber et al gobble cash

Alphabet, Google's new parent-holding-company-thing, has reported stellar end-of-year results: revenues in the final quarter of 2015 hit $21.3bn, and profit reached $4.9bn.

The figures pushed Alphabet's stock price up eight per cent in after-hours trading, making it, for the moment, the most valuable company on the planet by market cap: roughly $570bn versus Apple's $535bn.

"Our very strong revenue growth in Q4 reflects the vibrancy of our business, driven by mobile search as well as YouTube and programmatic advertising, all areas in which we've been investing for many years," said Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet, in a canned statement.

"We're excited about the opportunities we have across Google and Other Bets to use technology to improve the lives of billions of people."

Here's the lowdown on the figures from the Chocolate Factory's final quarter, ending December 30, 2015:

  • Alphabet's net revenue for the three months was $21.3bn, up 18 per cent on the same quarter last year. If you eliminate currency fluctuations, its revenues rose 24 per cent, but the strong dollar hurt the Silicon Valley giant. For the full year, Alphabet's Google revenues were $74.5bn, up 13.4 per cent on $65.7bn in the year before.
  • Alphabet's net income was $4.9bn, up four per cent from $4.7bn in the year-ago period. Over the full year, Alphabet's Google operating income hit $23.4bn, up 23 per cent from $19bn in 2014.
  • GAAP earnings per share for the quarter will be $7.06, which is slightly higher than analysts were expecting.
  • Expenses for the quarter amounted to $14bn, which Porat said was in part due to a greater investment in data centers and the loss of $180m from the sale of a business.
  • Cash: Google is still sitting on a pile of cash and securities – $73bn for the end of the financial year. $43bn of that is held overseas to avoid paying repatriation taxes.
  • Advertising: Porat said that the firm is reporting strong growth in advertising revenues, with YouTube bringing in much more cash this year, up 20 per cent, along with other media advertising. Paid clicks are up 31 per cent on the year.

    CEO Sundar Pichai said that YouTube viewership among the 19-45 age group now has more viewers than any US cable channel. YouTube viewing in the living room more than doubled in the last year, he said, pushing up revenues.

  • Other bets, including Google Fiber, self driving cars, the robotics division, and other blue-sky projects, lost $3.6bn over the full year compared to the previous year's $1.9bn loss. The other bets did bring in $448m in revenues in 2015, compared to $372m in 2014, (mainly from Google Fiber, Nest, and Verily) against capital expenditures of $869m – the vast majority of which is down to Fiber.

"Our results show great momentum and the opportunity we have with mobile search," Pichai said, adding that the Android ecosystem was blooming – not just on smartphones but in smart watches and cars.

Mobile traffic outpaced desktop search on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and in the run-up to Christmas. Pichai said that this showed people were integrating mobile search into their shopping.

As for Google's cloud plans, Pichai said that cloud computing was at a tipping point and businesses are now piling into the technology, and the firm is now running over four million apps in its cloud services.

When asked about Google's plans for artificial intelligence, Pichai said that the firm was making big strides and hadn't expected to get the Go win this year. He wouldn't be drawn into a timescale, but said usable AI will be increasingly integrated into Alphabet products. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Ex-Qualcomm Snapdragon chief turns CEO at AI chip startup MemryX

    Meet the new boss

    A former executive leading Qualcomm's Snapdragon computing platforms has darted the company to become CEO at an AI chip startup.

    Keith Kressin will lead product commercialization for MemryX, which was founded in 2019 and makes memory-intensive AI chiplets.

    The company is now out of stealth mode and will soon commercially ship its AI chips to non-tech customers. The company was testing early generations of its chips with industries including auto and robotics.

    Continue reading
  • Aircraft can't land safely due to interference with upcoming 5G C-band broadband service

    Expect flight delays and diversions, US Federal Aviation Administation warns

    The new 5G C-band wireless broadband service expected to rollout on 5 January 2022 in the US will disrupt local radio signals and make it difficult for airplanes to land safely in harsh weather conditions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Pilots rely on radio altimeter readings to figure out when and where an aircraft should carry out a series of operations to prepare for touchdown. But the upcoming 5G C-band service beaming from cell towers threatens to interfere with these signals, the FAA warned in two reports.

    Flights may have to be delayed or restricted at certain airports as the new broadband service comes into effect next year. The change could affect some 6,834 airplanes and 1,828 helicopters. The cost to operators is expected to be $580,890.

    Continue reading
  • Canadian charged with running ransomware attack on US state of Alaska

    Cross-border op nabbed our man, boast cops and prosecutors

    A Canadian man is accused of masterminding ransomware attacks that caused "damage" to systems belonging to the US state of Alaska.

    A federal indictment against Matthew Philbert, 31, of Ottawa, was unsealed yesterday, and he was also concurrently charged by the Canadian authorities with a number of other criminal offences at the same time. US prosecutors [PDF] claimed he carried out "cyber related offences" – including a specific 2018 attack on a computer in Alaska.

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Philbert was charged after a 23 month investigation "that also involved the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police, federal enforcers], the FBI and Europol."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021