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STILL STRONG

Alphabet cannot be stopped, even as its moonshots bleed cash

REUTERS/Peter Power
Looking up.
Dave Gershgorn
By Dave Gershgorn

Artificial intelligence reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

Someday, Alphabet may have to answer for all the money being sunk into its many moonshots. Today is not that day.

Google’s parent company continued its streak of strong earnings, with net income breaking $5 billion in the third quarter.

The tech conglomerate reported today that revenue hit $22.45 billion during the quarter, a 20% increase from a year earlier, in some part due to advertising buys for the upcoming US presidential election, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The results beat analyst estimates of $22.05 billion for the quarter.

Alphabet’s net income surged 27% from a year earlier to $5.06 billion, and its stock is up about 1.5% in after-hours trading. Shares are up about 20% since the end of June.

Alphabet is pretty much just Google

Google’s advertising business still makes up pretty much all of Alphabet’s revenue. Paid clicks saw a huge gain of 33% against the same quarter last year, although the cost per click fell 11%—analysts had hoped the decline would be closer to 4.5%.

The company is riding the shift to mobile, where it completely dominates search with a 95% market share, reports the Wall Street Journal. It owns 78% of the market on personal computers.

Other bets aren’t paying off

Alphabet’s ”Other Bets,” which include Fiber, Nest, and a host of moonshots like self-driving cars, continue to disappoint. The category did see a 39% increase in revenue from a year earlier, but it’s still bleeding money.

Under the Google umbrella, it’s too soon to see any of its new hardware efforts reflected in results. However, Pichai told investors that efforts like the Google Assistant and Pixel phone represent a new wave of computing that will open doors to revenue.

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