Alphabet fourth-quarter revenue, profit beat estimates

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Alphabet, Google's parent company, on Monday reported revenue of $39.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018 - up 23% compared with the year-ago quarter.

In case you were anxious, the advertising titans of the internet are doing just fine. Amazon now leads in that market, followed by Microsoft and Google in a somewhat more distant third place. For the latter, much of the cost jump over the year was from fiber cable rollouts - Google has an bad 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.

While Alphabet had a mostly positive earnings report, there were misses for the tech company.

Alphabet's revenues for the quarter were 22% higher than the same period previous year and the company made a profit of $8.9bn, the company announced on Monday. Revenues in the USA rose 20 percent while revenues from Europe, the Middle East and Africa jumped 29 percent due to the stronger euro and British pound. About 83 percent of the revenue came from Google's ad system, chiefly mobile search and YouTube, the company said on a call with analysts.

Google's fourth-quarter capital expenditures jumped 80 percent to $6.85 billion.

Google is now hosting a call with investors.

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"Providing accurate and trusted information at the scale the Internet has reached is an extremely complex challenge and one that is constantly getting harder".

Alphabet is the last of the so-called Faang - Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google - to report its quarterly earnings. That beat analysts' average estimates of $7.69 billion, or $10.87 per share. That was just a little over the $6.43 billion analysts had expected. The global market for advertising appears to be finite, and Google and Facebook already grab a large share of spending.

As usual, the vast majority of Google's income came from its ad business, but its "other revenues" category continues to grow in a major way.

A man walks past the logo of the U.S. multinational technology company Google.

However, the company's bet on Google-made hardware also comes with significant expenses: Google spent close to $1.5 billion acquisitions in 2018, up from $287 million in 2017. Amazon said its AWS revenues rose 45 percent, to $7.4 billion.

The company which now has 98,771 employees globally reported a net income of $8.94 billion for the fourth quarter. Operating loss for the unit was $1.3 billion, way up from $748 million a year ago.

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Google remains a dominant player in online advertising even as Alphabet has ventured into "moonshots" in new sectors.

Alphabet's unaudited assets at the end of December 31st, 2018 totalled $232.79 billion Dollars (roughly $305.39 billion CAD), an increase from Q4 2017's $197.30 billion USD (roughly $258.83 billion CAD).

So what's in store for Google's results?

Overall, Alphabet recorded $39.3 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter, with Google's advertising business accounting for the vast majority of that revenue.

Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google did not provide any guidance for 2019 and simply said that the company will “continue to make focused investments in the talent and infrastructure needed to bring exceptional products and experiences to users, advertisers, and partners around the globe.”.

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