Whatever you've got to say about Google, it can't hear you over the sound of it banking $85m a day in pure profit

Costs on the rise but still added $99m a day to its bottom line in Q4 2018

Google parent company Alphabet says it logged a 23 per cent jump in revenues in the final quarter of 2018, even as losses from its various side projects continue to mount.

For the company's fourth quarter of the year, ending December 31, released Monday this week:

  • Revenues of $39.3bn were up 23 per cent from $32.2bn in Q4 2017.
  • Net income of $8.95bn was up from a $3bn loss in the year-ago quarter when Google took a $10bn write off in tax charges. That's just under $100m a day in profit over the 90-day period.
  • Earnings per share (non-GAAP) were $12.77, compared to a loss of $4.35 last year, and above estimates of $11.08.
  • Google web properties revenues – ad money from Google's own websites – were $27bn, up 22 per cent from $22.2bn in Q4 2017.
  • Google network revenues – display ad cash from non-Google sites – were $5.6bn were up 12 per cent from $5bn last year's quarter.
  • Google "other" revenues – think cloud platform and other non-advertising dosh – were $6.5bn, up 30 per cent from $5bn. To compare numbers, though not features, Amazon's cloud org AWS alone raked in $7.43bn in sales in its latest quarter.
  • Google operating income was $9.7bn, up 13 per cent from $8.6bn.
  • Alphabet's non-Google "other bets" unit reported $154m in revenue, up 18 per cent from $131m. Losses, however, doubled on the year-ago quarter, checking in at $1.32bn.

For the full 2018 fiscal year, also ending December 31:

  • Revenues were $136.8bn, up 23 per cent from $110.9bn last year. That's $375m a day, every damn day, in sales over the year.
  • Net income of $30.74bn was up 142 per cent from $12.7bn in 2017, noting again the $10bn tax write-off from repatriating cash stored overseas. That's just over $84m profit a day, every day, for the whole year.
  • Earnings per share on the year were $43.70, up from $18.27 last year, but short of $45.79 analysts estimated.
  • Google business revenue was $136.2bn, up from $110.4bn last year.
  • Other bets revenue was $595m, up from $477, though operating loss increased from $2.7bn to $3.36bn as well.

Among the numbers that stood out was the jump in costs and capital expenditures, both in Google and Alphabet's other bets. For the latter, much of the cost jump over the year was from fiber cable rollouts – Google has an awful lot of private fiber – while the ad giant also invested in, among other things, data centers and the hiring of more sales and research workers.

CFO Ruth Porat told analysts on a conference call Monday Google hopes those expenses pay off in the near future, particularly Google's focus on machine learning and AI.

"we see significant ongoing potential to apply our machine learning capabilities across our business," said Porat said.

The higher-than-expected cost of business for Alphabet seemed to worry investors, as the company's stock was down 2.84 per cent at $1,100.64 apiece in after-hours trading. ®

Keep Reading

UK govt publishes contracts granting Amazon, Microsoft, Google and AI firms access to COVID-19 health data

Questions linger over involvement of biz linked to Dominic Cummings and Vote Leave campaign

France fines Google, Amazon €135m total for slipping ad cookies into people's computers without permission

We're sure these websites will find some way to rebound from this incredible punishment

Amazon continues its tsunami of announcements, now with AI in mind. We spoke to an AWS lead to decode it all

re:Invent Inference can be expensive but the cloud giant's working on that, we're told

Gartner vision quest sees Microsoft, Google and IBM nipping at Amazon Web Services' heels in cloud AI

Everybody get in here! It's another one of those Magic Quadrants!

Google previews Document AI for parsing forms: Just a catch-up with AWS and Azure?

Convert a jumble of documents into neatly structured data - if you are lucky

Can't quite remember the name of the song stuck in your head? Hum it and our AI will take a guess, says Google

In brief Fine, try this one: Hmm mmm egregious web monopoly mmm-mmm hmm radicalizing video algorithms mm

Reviewing and profiling your code is boring? Well, Amazon will now sell you an AI editor to do it for you

CodeGuru guesstimates how much AWS will charge you to run that source on its cloud

Google, Amazon pass on UK Digital Services Tax by hiking ad prices, fees at same rate the government takes

Which means you get to pay, because cost of ads, sellers' fee hikes are built into prices, so once the tech titans charge more ... you get the drift

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021