Alphabet released its earnings report for the recent December quarter and the results were largely impressive. While the company just barely missed Wall St. estimates with respect to earnings per share, its year-on-year revenue checked in at $26.06 billion, representing a respectable 22% increase compared to the same quarter a year ago.
“Our growth in the fourth quarter was exceptional — with revenues up 22% year on year and 24% on a constant currency basis,” Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said in a press release. “This performance was led by mobile search and YouTube. We’re seeing great momentum in Google’s newer investment areas and ongoing strong progress in Other Bets.”
Indeed, Alaphabet’s somewhat nebulous assortment of “Other Bets,” such as new Pixel phones and Google Glass, finally seems to be taking of, albeit at a snail’s pace. Still, it’s a step in the right direction given Alphabet’s history of effectively throwing money at ambitious engineering projects with no concrete plan to formulate a return on investment.
So even though Alphabet’s primary source of revenue is still derived from search-based advertising — to the tune of 98.9% — it’s worth noting that revenue from Alphabet’s “Other Bets” category increased by 75% year over year, climbing to $262 million for the quarter gone by. And while Alphabet is still losing money on its “Other Bets” initiatives overall, it’s not as much of a money-sink as it was just a few months ago.
Incidentally, shares of Alphabet are currently down nearly 2% in after-hours trading.