Google Parent Alphabet Beats Q3 Revenue Expectations, but Takes Hit on Investments

Alphabet - Google app

Google is just like the rest of us: Sometimes, its investments just don’t pan out.

The search giant’s corporate parent Alphabet generated a whopping $40.5 billion in revenue in Q3 of 2019, slightly beating analyst expectations. However, a massive $1.5 billion loss on equity securities dragged down net earnings, and in turn freaked out investors, sending the company’s share price down 2% in after-hours trading.

Alphabet’s revenue for the quarter, which ended on September 30, was $40.5 billion, compared to $33.7 billion for the same quarter a year ago. Net income for the quarter was $7 billion, compared to $9.2 billion a year ago. This translates diluted earnings of $10.12 per share.

Analysts had expected revenue of $40.3 billion, and earnings per share of $12.38.

Alphabet didn’t further specify which of its investments drove down its earnings, but the culprit is likely Uber: Google’s parent owned about 5% of the ride haling company when it went public earlier this year; Uber’s stock traded significantly below its IPO price of $45 per share for much of Q3.

Google executives tried to focus everyone’s attention on how much better their company had been doing during the quarter. “I am extremely pleased with the progress we made across the board in the third quarter, from our recent advancements in search and quantum computing to our strong revenue growth driven by mobile search, YouTube and Cloud,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a statement.

Other notable insights from Monday’s earnings release:

  • Google’s non-advertising revenues increased by 38.5% year-over-year. Part of this is undoubtedly due to Google’s growing cloud business, but there could also have been a positive impact from the company’s growing hardware sales.
  • Alphabet’s other bets, which includes businesses outside of the core Google entity, lost a whopping $941 million during Q3, compared to $727 million during Q3 of 2018. Revenues for these businesses only grew from $146 million in Q3 of 2018 to $155 million in Q3 of 2019. There’s no word yet on the cause of the cost increase.
  • Alphabet ended the quarter with 114,096 employees, roughly 20,000 more than a year ago.