In nearly as much of an anticlimax as the Snoozer Bowl, Alphabet Inc. today again beat most expectations for its fourth quarter thanks to continued strength in its search and video advertising and investment gains.
The company reported net income of $8.95 billion, or $12.77 per Class A and B common share and Class C capital share, in the quarter ended December 31, compared with a loss of $3.02 billion, or $4.35 per share, a year earlier when it recorded a one-time tax charge of $9.9 billion.
The company also generated annual revenue figures totalling $136.82 billion United States dollars (roughly $179.46 billion CAD) in 2018 - a year-over-year growth of 23 percent compared to 2017.
Analysts had expected net income of $7.6 billion on revenue of $38.9 billion.
Yet, the biggest issue for Google right now might not be regulatory risks so much as its own ongoing effort to diversify its revenue streams amid competition from other large technology companies.
The company has authorized a plan to buy back an additional $12.5 billion worth of its shares, Porat said. Analysts attributed the decline to Alphabet's increased investment in its cloud business, YouTube and other areas it hopes to grow.
Google parent Alphabet delivered a better-than-expected holiday quarter earnings report on Monday, with some asterisks: The company's numbers for the quarter benefitted from a one-time cash injection.
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Expenses rose to $31 billion compared with $24.6 billion in the same period a year ago.
Costs were also pushed higher by hiring, mostly for the cloud business, she added during a conference call with analysts.
Google business revenue was $136.2bn, up from $110.4bn previous year.
Google faced scrutiny in late 2018 over alleged bias against conservatives on its signature search engine, as well as the decision to provide Android co-founder Andy Rubin $90 million in severance pay after he was sacked amid sexual misconduct claims - sparking a global protest among employees.
"Other bets", as Alphabet calls its more experimental businesses including Waymo, the self-driving vehicle startup, its fiber optic cable business and Verily, its health division, had revenues of $154m. However, those operations showed a $1.3 billion operating loss. "We also ended the year with another milestone passing 5 million paying customers for our Cloud collaboration and productivity solution G Suite".
How well Google fares with investors will depend on how aggressively the tech giant tackles cloud computing services in the next year, either organically or through acquisitions.