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Earnings Results: Alphabet sales and earnings fall just short of estimates, stock dips

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Largely defying a macroeconomic, geopolitical and technological maelstrom that has gutted other companies’ earnings, Google parent Alphabet Inc. on Tuesday reported financial results that fell slightly short of Wall Street estimates, initially pushing its shares down 4% in after-hours trading.

The search-engine giant
GOOGL,
-3.59%

GOOG,
-3.04%
,
 the most dominant in digital advertising worldwide, reported net income of $16.44 billion, or $24.62 a share, in its fiscal first quarter, compared with net income of $17.93 billion, or $26.29 a share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue after removing traffic-acquisition costs was $56.02 billion, compared with $45.6 billion in the year-ago period. Overall revenue improved 23% to $68.01 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated net income of $25.74 a share on ex-TAC revenue of $56.1 billion and total revenue of $68.05 billion.

Alphabet’s operating-profit margin was 30% in the quarter, as it was in the same quarter a year ago.

“Q1 saw strong growth in Search and Cloud, in particular, which are both helping people and businesses as the digital transformation continues,” Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in a statement announcing the results.

Google’s numbers underscored a diverse business model that has reduced its exposure to several factors — inflation, lingering supply-chain issues, the war in Ukraine, strict privacy rules imposed by Apple Inc.
AAPL,
-3.73%

— that recently punished Snap Inc.
SNAP,
-4.08%
,
and are expected to bruise Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc.
FB,
-3.23%
,
Twitter Inc.
TWTR,
-3.91%

and Pinterest Inc.
PINS,
-3.90%

when they report earnings this week.

In a note Tuesday, Aaron Kessler, internet analyst at Raymond James, was most positive about Alphabet’s prospects despite “generally slowing” online advertising growth in the first quarter.

Google’s total advertising sales rose to $54.7 billion from $44.7 billion a year ago. Search was $39.6 billion, vs. $31.9 billion a year ago. YouTube ad sales continued to grow, to $6.9 billion from $6 billion a year ago.

Google’s Cloud revenue jumped 44% to $5.8 billion, placing the company third in cloud sales behind rivals Amazon.com Inc. 
AMZN,
-4.58%

and Microsoft Corp. 
MSFT,
-3.74%
.

Google’s stock has slid 18% so far this year. The broader S&P 500 index 
SPX,
-2.81%

has skidded 12% in 2022.

Alphabet’s financial performance affirmed what Justin Patterson, equity research at KeyBanc Capital Markets, calls the “diversified” advertising model that makes the company “the least fundamental risk” to headwinds that have buffeted and battered ad competitors Meta and Pinterest.

Market Snapshot: Dow tumbles 800 points, Nasdaq books lowest close since 2020 ahead of megacap tech earnings

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