Alphabet delivers better-than-expected Q4 revenue

Bulls Look to Alphabet Results to Keep Tech Stock Rally Going

Google for now maintains its pole position atop a digital advertising duopoly with Facebook Inc., which reported better-than expected earnings last week on a 30 percent rise in revenues, virtually all from advertising.

Alphabet made a profit of $8.9 billion in the fourth quarter of past year compared with...

The company's profitability remained robust as its operating income rose 21 percent to 8.2 billion dollars over the previous quarter.

"In 2018 we delivered strong revenue growth, up 23% year over year to $136.8 billion, and up 22% for the fourth quarter to $39.3 billion", said Ruth Porat, Alphabet and Google CFO.

Asked whether Google had any plans to respond to efforts from big-game publishers to sidestep app store fees, Pichai signaled that the company had no plans to reduce the cut it takes from Google Play.

Concerns appear to be around how much Google is able to charge advertisers for ads. And regulatory filings like Tuesday's annual report are often filled with boilerplate descriptions of risk so companies aren't sued by investors if something actually goes wrong. Including money spent to become the default search engine on iOS devices, the company paid out $7.45 billion to acquire traffic during the quarter.

Google's mostly free search, video and productivity tools are used by billions of people across the world, despite a backlash in some countries over how the company uses and protects customer information. And it would be short-sighted to count Google out, though Amazon and Microsoft's businesses are larger.

Earnings per share on the year were $43.70, up from $18.27 last year, but short of $45.79 analysts estimated.

More news: And the Best Super Bowl Ad Goes to...the Super Bowl?

Alphabet said its Q4 results slightly surpassed analyst expectations.

Shout out to Google Cloud Google CEO Sundar Pichai singled out Google Cloud for praise on the earnings call, along with outgoing CEO Diane Greene.

Google's cloud unit is laboring through a management transition as well.

Alphabet is relying on its ad business to support sales and profit growth as it develops new offerings such as cloud services and consumer hardware. However, those operations showed a $1.3 billion operating loss.

Alphabet is expected to report its most recent quarterly results Monday afternoon.

Alphabet's cash and other short-term holdings totaled $109.14 billion at the end of 2018. Those brought in $6.49 billion during this quarter, a 31 percent increase year-over-year.

How well Google fares with investors will depend on how aggressively the tech giant tackles cloud computing services in the next year, either organically or through acquisitions.

Cloud engineers and sales professionals also made up the bulk of the 4,000 employees it hired during the quarter, Porat said.

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