Alphabet stock pops 5% as company crushes expectations

By Jennifer Elias

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai gestures during a session at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.

Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images

Google parent company Alphabet's stock rose more than 5% in after-hours trading as it crushed expectations for both earnings and revenue in its third-quarter earnings results.

Here are the results.

  • Earnings per share: $16.40 vs $11.29 expected, according to Refinitiv estimates
  • Revenue: $46.17 billion vs $42.90 billion expected, according to Refinitiv estimates
  • Google Cloud: $3.44 billion vs. $3.32 billion estimated according to StreetAccount.
  • YouTube ads: $5.04 billion vs. $4.39 billion estimated, according to StreetAccount.
  • Traffic acquisition costs (TAC): $8.17 billion vs. $7.66 billion according to StreetAccount.

The company beat estimates across the board, following its first-ever revenue decline in Q2. The results showed a strong rebound in its core advertising revenue, which was hit hard by customer spending pullbacks amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It follows similarly strong earnings reports by ad-driven online companies Pinterest and Snap earlier this month.

For the quarter ending September 30, the company brought in total advertising revenue of $37.10 billion, compared to $33.80 billion a year ago. YouTube ad growth was particularly strong, up 32% from a year ago. Fears of a search advertising crunch did not materialize, as the company's "Search and Other" advertising category showed 6% growth from a year ago.

On the company's earnings call, CEO Sundar Pichai said, "This year, including this quarter, showed how valuable Google's founding product, search, has been to people."

Pichai said starting next quarter, it will report additional details of its Cloud business.

"Starting with our results for the fourth quarter of 2020, we'll break out Google Cloud as a separate reporting segment," Pichai said. "With the segmentation, you will additionally see information about the scale of our investment, which will help gauge the progress we are making on the multi-year path ahead to create sustainable value."

Google's "Other Revenue," which includes hardware like its Pixel phones and cloud products, came in at  $5.48 billion, compared to $4.05 billion a year ago.

Alphabet said its revenue from "Other Bets," which includes its subsidiaries outside of Google like the self-driving car company Waymo and Life Sciences business Verily brought in $178 million compared to $155 million a year ago.

Pichai briefly commented on the recent Department of Justice lawsuit, which alleged Google holds monopolistic power in the Search market.

"Regarding the DoJ's lawsuit, we believe that our products are creating significant benefits and we'll confidently make our case," Pichai said. "Our company's focus remains on continuing our work to build a Search product that people love and value."

Executives said YouTube has over $30 million music and premium paid subscribers and YouTube TV has more than 3 million subscribers.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Correction: YouTube advertising revenues were $5.04 billion for the quarter, and TAC was $8.17 billion.