Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Shares of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, rose 6% in extended trading on Tuesday after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts’ expectations.
Here’s how the company did:
- Earnings: $22.30 per share, adjusted, vs., $15.90 per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
- Revenue: $56.90 billion, vs. $53.13 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
- Google Cloud: $3.83 billion, vs. $3.81 billion as expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount.
- YouTube ads: $6.89 billion, vs. $6.11 billion as expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount.
- Traffic acquisition costs (TAC): $10.47 billion, vs. $9.32 billion as expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount.
Alphabet’s revenue grew 23% on an annualized basis in the quarter, according to a statement.
The company broke out operating income from its cloud business for the first time: the company lost $5.61 billion during the full year, and $1.24 billion during Q4, showing that the business is still in investment mode.
During the quarter, Google faced three government antitrust lawsuits in the U.S., adding to several others threatening potential future regulation. Regulators in other countries have also taken issue with Google’s competitive practices, like in Australia, where top Google critic News Corp has a major presence. Google said last month it would block its search engine in Australia if the government proceeds with a new code that would force it to pay media companies for the right to use their content.
During the quarter, YouTube also faced questions about its handling of content related to the Capitol insurrection, which brought up a renewed bipartisan push to re-think Section 230, a bill that allows social media providers to host content without assuming liability for it.
During the quarter, the company also faced new scrutiny over employment practices and conditions.
The U.S. Labor board launched a lawsuit against Google, accusing it of retaliation and spying on employees. The company has also come under scrutiny for its handling of a well-known artificial intelligence researcher and technical co-lead of Google’s Ethical AI team Timnit Gebru, who Google fired in early December.
Claiming the treatment was indicative of a broader pattern of Black employee treatment at Google, Gebru’s tweets set off industry-wide support, employees and industry peers who petitioned the company for more answers. CEO Sundar Pichai vowed to investigate the events but has not yet released any findings.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.