Alphabet fourth-quarter revenue, profit beat estimates

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For the three month period from October through December, advertising revenue hit $32.6 billion, a 20% increase year-over-year. "With great opportunities ahead, we continue to make focused investments in the talent and infrastructure needed to bring exceptional products and experiences to our users, advertisers, and partners around the globe".

Google is aware of this, which is why its earnings report includes a section titled "Other Bets", describing efforts like self-driving-car company Waymo, its health company Verily, and the high-speed internet provider Google Fiber. That compared to analyst estimates of $7.69 billion, or $10.87 per share.

Alphabet shares declined 3 percent in extended trading. That means Google places many more commercial messages in more places, people are surfing Google hangouts more, and the ads are generating results for the companies that buy them.

Google's parent company Alphabet released its quarterly earnings, beating expectations.

The yearly numbers looked positive as well - revenue grew from $110.85 billion to $136.81 billion or about 23%.

He's happy Google is spending heavily on YouTube, cloud and hardware.

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Net income was $12.77 a share, compared with a loss of $4.35 a share a year earlier, when a one-time tax expense wiped out profit.

Analysts said Google's core advertising business is starting to plateau, an indication of stiffening competition. The number of clicks on ads that Google ran on its own services surged 66 percent in the fourth quarter, versus the 2017 holiday period.

Google "other" revenues - think cloud platform and other non-advertising dosh - were $6.5bn, up 30 per cent from $5bn. Revenues from Other Bets were just $154 million, with operating loss reaching $1.328 billion.

After peaking in July, Google shares have fallen back to just above where they were trading early previous year. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said the cloud operation is "getting large wins", and Porat noted that it's one of the fastest-growing businesses at Alphabet.

Pichai highlighted YouTube as one of the company's success stories, saying the number of YouTube channels with more than 1 million subscribers almost doubled in 2018.

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. "We also ended the year with another milestone passing 5 million paying customers for our Cloud collaboration and productivity solution G Suite". Referred to internally as "Project Dragonfly", Google was said to be preparing to introduce the censored engine in 2019 but later abandoned the plans.