Alphabet Inc Q2 Earnings Preview

Alphabet Inc Q2 Earnings Preview

Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is scheduled to release its second quarter earnings report after closing bell tonight, and solid results are generally expected. The Street is looking for $16.85 billion in revenue, $8 per share in non-GAAP earnings, and adjusted EBITDA of $8.35 billion.

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Google Search trends decelerated QoQ

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali and team report that their checks point to a slight quarter over quarter deceleration in search advertising trends for Google. Kenshoo said search ad spend grew 10% year over year, compared to 13% in the first quarter. Merkle reported a 22% growth rate, compared to 25% in the first quarter. The ad agencies reported that Google Shopping Product Listing Ads continued to show strong growth, but a deceleration in ad spend on text offset that growth, Squali added.

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He projects an 18% growth rate for Google Websites gross revenue, bringing it to $14.6 billion. He expects a 2% year over year increase in Google Network Websites, bringing it to $3.7 billion, and a 24% increase in Google Other revenues.

The analyst expects capital expenditures to be a key area of focus in tonight’s earnings report. Alphabet has been spending heavy in Other Bets and GCP, so he expects capex to remain high, possibly as high as $2.4 billion, which represents 11.8% of his gross revenue estimate and is about in line with where it was in the first quarter.

He doesn’t expect the company to release any guidance but notes that Wall Street’s third quarter estimates suggest that healthy growth will continue. The consensus estimates for the third quarter are $17.56 billion in revenue, non-GAAP earnings of $8.35 per share, and adjusted EBITDA of $8.65 billion.

Mobile ads providing another tailwind for Google

Stifel analyst Scott Devitt also found strong search trends for Google during the second quarter but ads that higher mobile ad units should provide an additional tailwind. Other areas of strength include improving click-through rates across devices and continuing PLA momentum.

Devitt expects investors to focus on YouTube monetization, particularly any commentary around the recent Brandcast event. He also expects investors to look for changes to the structure for Google Play commissions for subscriptions, changes in ad units, new timing for the products that were unveiled at Google I/O, signs of momentum in the company’s cloud offerings, and comments on the EU antitrust charges.

Alphabet management may also mention Brexit, which has figured prominently in commentary by other U.S.-based multinational companies, although Devitt expects any comments on this topic to be limited until visibility into its impact improves.

Class A shares of Alphabet edged lower by 0.03% to $761.76 ahead of tonight’s earnings report.

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