Google whiffs on earnings, stock gets slammed

Google parent company Alphabet just reported its Q1 earnings!

It missed on the top and bottom line and reported weaker-than-expected growth in one of its main ad metrics, and the stock initially plunged about ~8% after hours.

It has leveled slightly to about 6% down.

Here are the most important numbers:

Revenue: $20.35 billion, up 17% year-on-year, versus analyst expectations of $20.38 billion

Non-GAAP earnings per share: $7.50 versus $7.96 expected

This is only the second time that the company has broken out its Google business from its “Other Bets,” where it reported revenue of $166 million (up from $80 million in Q1 2015) and operating loss of $802 million, which widened significantly from a loss of $633 million a year ago.

“Other Bets” includes efforts like smart home company Nest, its life sciences business Verily, and its super-fast internet service, Fibre, which were highlighted as the primary drivers of that revenue.

“As a reminder, the majority of these efforts are pre-revenue,” CFO Ruth Porat said on the earnings call. “We continue to invest across these opportunities, doing so in a disciplined way.”

The other important numbers are cost per click (how much Google can charge for its ads) and paid clicks (how many times people click those ads). Cost per click was down 9% versus -11% expected and paid clicks were up 29% year-over-year, versus 32% expected.

On the earnings call, chief financial officer Ruth Porat highlighted increased mobile search as a primary driver of its revenue growth, thanks in part to new mobile ad types.

Overall, mobile was a big topic of the call, as Alphabet assured investors that it’s primed to make just as much money from smartphones, tablets, and other devices as it has on desktop (traditionally, mobile ads have fetched lower prices). YouTube, the Android app store, Play, and its enterprise cloud business all also got shout-outs as areas where it’s seen a lot of promising growth.

Other important numbers:

  • Alphabet increased its headcount to 64,115, a big leap from 55,419 a year before.
  • Google’s Other Revenue, which includes its Google Play app store and cloud business, were $2.07 billion, up 24% year-over-year.
  • Google websites revenue was $14.32 billion, up 20% year-over-year, while Google’s networks revenue was $3.7 billion, up 3% year-over-year.
  • Websites revenue includes YouTube, and on the call Porat said that YouTube revenue continues to “grow at a very significant rate,” although she didn’t give any specifics about its revenue
  • Its operating expenses (other than cost of revenues) were $7.2 billion, or 36% of it revenue, which it says were driven by R&D and costs from headcount
  • The company’s capital expenditures were $2.03 billion

Some highlights from the earnings call:

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that the company was focused on continuing to make its signature product — Search — more useful and assistive.

“One of the key ingredients behind this push towards greater assistance is AI,” Pichai said. “We’ve long invested in building the best machine learning team and tools, and we’re seeing these efforts bear fruit in many ways.”

He also said that the company was seeing “great traction” on YouTube and in the Google Play Store, where it sells apps for its Android operating system. It also said that its enterprise cloud business is “gaining momentum.”

Those are three of the growing businesses that Wall Street sees as having big future potential, although they don’t currently drive a lot of revenue compared to its search ads.

When asked about the recent spat of negative press around smart home company Nest, Porat dodged, saying simply that “Nest products are best sellers — it’s a leading brand in the connected home.”

We’ll be following along the earnings call live, so click here or refresh for the latest.

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