Google parent company reports impressive growth in Q4 and FY 2018

Bulls Look to Alphabet Results to Keep Tech Stock Rally Going

Google's tumultuous year didn't stop it from making more money than ever

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, said its total revenue for the final three months of 2018 was $39.3 billion, an increase of 22% from the same period a year earlier, according to a company earnings report released Monday.

Alphabet's Other Bets business, which includes its self-driving auto company Waymo and health-tech venture Verily, saw revenue rise to $154 million, up from $131 million in the year-ago period.

Overall, Google's revenue for the quarter was $39.1 billion, up 22% from the $32.2 billion recorded during the 2017 fourth quarter.

The fees that Alphabet pays to companies like Apple for Google to be their default search engine rose to $7.4bn up from $6.6bn for the same period a year ago. Chief financial officer (CFO), Ruth Porat, said that the capital expenditure (capex) will help Alphabet's growth.

The company reported $31.07 billion (£23.80 billion) in total fourth-quarter costs and expenses, up 26 percent from past year.

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Google continues to grow its cloud business and hardware sales, which brought in $6.49 billion during the quarter.

"Other bets", as Alphabet calls its more experimental businesses including Waymo, the self-driving auto startup, its fiber optic cable business and Verily, its health division, had revenues of $154m.

Alphabet's head count grew to almost 99,000 from 80,000 employees during the course of the year as expenses at the internet colossus climbed. Excluding traffic acquisition costs, the revenue consensus was $31.3 billion, up 21 percent.

The valuation doesn't reflect Alphabet's net cash of $105 billion, or about $150 a share, and includes the losses in the company's nascent "other bets" businesses such as Waymo, the leader in autonomous-driving technology.

The category accounted for $154 million in revenue for the quarter, up from $131 million a year ago.

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As a result, shares fell more than 3 percent in after-hours trading. Alphabet's profits were thinner because of its investment in cloud services. The global market for advertising appears to be finite, and Google and Facebook already grab a large share of spending.

The loss past year related to a one-time charge from new U.S. tax rules, while earnings since then have benefited from new rules about valuing Alphabet's dozens of investments in external startups.

For starters, analysts believe Google will remain dominant in search.

What's next for Google after Alphabet's Q4 results?

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Cloud engineers and sales professionals also made up the bulk of the 4,000 employees it hired during the quarter, Porat said.

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