Feb 1, 2022 - Technology

Google parent Alphabet beats expectations in Q4 earnings

Google sign in front of Mountain View campus against blue sky
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Google parent company Alphabet posted better-than-expected Q4 2021 earnings, with revenues leaping 32% year-over-year, and YouTube advertising revenue beating out Netflix during the same quarter, at $8.6 billion compared with $7.7 billion.

Why it matters: Alphabet is doing better and better in most parts of its business, including in advertising, where there had been a COVID-related slump, even as the world continues to struggle with other disruptions to commerce due to the Omicron variant.

Details: The company beat expectations in advertising revenue and cloud, and sold more Pixel phones than expected. Revenues went down slightly last quarter for other areas like self-driving car unit Waymo and life sciences unit Verily.

What they're saying: CEO Sundar Pichai credited advancements in artificial intelligence for successful gains in its advertising businesses on a call with investors.

  • Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said the company's revenues of $75 billion reflect strong advertiser spend and "strong consumer online activity" and growth in Google Cloud.

By the numbers, via CNBC:

  • Earnings per share: $30.69 per share vs $27.34 per share expected, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $75.33 billion vs. $72.17 billion expected, per Refinitiv.
  • YouTube advertising revenue: $8.63 billion vs. $8.87 billion expected, per StreetAccount.
  • Google Cloud revenue: $5.54 billion vs. $5.47 billion expected, per Street Account.
  • Traffic acquisition costs (TAC): $13.43 billion vs. $12.84 billion expected, per Street Account.

The intrigue: The company also announced a 20-for-1 stock split.

Our thought bubble, from Axios' Emily Peck: Google's stock is crazy expensive, $2,752.88 at the close today — if it's in that range when the split happens the price of a share would be around $137, which is much easier to trade without having to buy and sell fractional shares.

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