Alphabet reports big earnings beat as revenue grows 34%

Alphabet reports big earnings beat as revenue grows 34%

Alphabet reported huge beats on its top and bottom lines for its first quarter of 2021, as well as a new $50 billion stock buyback, which boosted the stock more than 4% in after-hours trading.

Here’s how Google’s parent company fared in the quarter relative to what Wall Street analysts polled by Refinitiv expected:

  • Earnings: $26.29 per share vs. $15.82 per share expected
  • Revenue: $55.31 billion vs. $51.70 billion expected
  • Google Cloud revenue: $4.05 billion vs. $4.07 billion, according to FactSet estimates.
  • YouTube ads: $6.01 billion vs. $5.70 billion, according to StreetAccount.
  • Traffic Acquisition Costs (TAC): $9.71 billion  vs. $9.25 billion, according to FactSet estimates.

Google’s revenue rose 34% from the same period a year prior. The company reported advertising revenue of $44.68 billion for the quarter. That’s a significant rise from $33.76 billion in the same quarter last year, making it the fastest annualized growth rate in at least four years, although the results were boosted by easy comparable, as the onset of the coronavirus pandemic caused a steep drop in advertising spend.

YouTube ads came in at $6.01 billion during the quarter — a 49% rise from year ago.

YouTube became the winner of the pandemic in terms of social media sites, according to a recent Pew report, which said the video platform saw usage grow from 73% of U.S. adults in 2019 to 81% in 2021.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said on the company’s earnings call that YouTube’s TikTok competitor Shorts is garnering 6.5 billion daily views, a significant increase from 3.5 billion at the end of January.

Google Cloud revenue grew 46% year-over-year to $4.05 billion, which was in-line with Wall Street’s expectations. It lost $974 million during the quarter, significantly narrowing losses from the same period a year ago. Google Cloud includes infrastructure and data analytics platforms, collaboration tools such as Google Docs and Sheets, and “other services for enterprise customers.”

During the quarter, the company also recorded a $4.84 billion gain in the value of investments, but did not disclose which investments drove this gain.

The company’s “Other Bets” segment, which includes its health tech unit Verily and autonomous-vehicle bet Waymo, lost $1.15 billion on revenues of $198 million.

Alphabet’s board approved an additional stock repurchase of up to $50 billion on April 23, Tuesday’s filing stated.

In March, Google announced a $7 billion investment toward expanding offices and data centers across 19 states, creating what will amount to at least 10,000 full-time jobs. That came as the company doubled down on bringing its workforce back to physical offices after the pandemic.

The company will discuss the results with investors at 5pm ET.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

— CNBC’s Jessica Bursztynsky contributed to this report.