Alphabet makes most of its money from selling targeted advertising across the web, apps and Google products including its search engine and video streaming site YouTube

By Ian Horswill


Posted on February 4, 2020

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has for the first time given investors a look at revenue for the video platform YouTube as it released its fourth quarter financial results.

With figures that would make a newspaper owner cry, YouTube generated US$15 billion in advertising sales in 2019, up from US$11 billion the year before.

Alphabet, which has its headquarters in Mountain View, California, earned US$10.67 billion, or US$15.35 per share, in the final three months of last year, which represents an increase from US$8.95 billion, or US$12.77 per share, in the same period a year earlier, AP News reported. Alphabet recorded net revenue of US$37.57 billion, up from $31.84 billion a year earlier.

Analysts, according to FactSet, were predicting earnings of US$12.49 per share and revenue of US$38.4 billion.

Alphabet makes most of its money from selling targeted advertising across the web, apps and Google products including its search engine and video streaming site YouTube. Investors are now also closely watching the growth of Google’s cloud business. Google bought the fitness tracker company FitBit in November last year.

It is Alphabet’s first earnings report since Google CEO Sundar Pichai assumed the responsibility as CEO of Alphabet. Cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down after 21 years.

Alphabet, Google co-founders step down

Pichai, along with CFO Ruth Porat, had been presiding over Alphabet’s earnings report and conference call for years, CNET reported.

“Our investments in deep computer science, including artificial intelligence, ambient computing and cloud computing, provide a strong base for continued growth and new opportunities across Alphabet,” said Pichai in a statement.

“I’m really pleased with our continued progress in Search and in building two of our newer growth areas — YouTube, already at US$15 billion in annual ad revenue, and Cloud, which is now on a US$10 billion revenue run rate.”

Porat added: “In 2019 we again delivered strong revenue growth, with revenues of US$162 billion, up 18% year over year and up 20% on a constant currency basis. To provide further insight into our business and the opportunities ahead, we’re now disclosing our revenue on a more granular basis, including for Search, YouTube ads and Cloud.”

The company’s stock fell more than 4% in after-hours trading.

Only days ago, Alphabet hit US$1 trillion in market capitalisation, joining Apple, Amazon and Microsoft as the only US companies to have reached that threshold.