Google parent company Alphabet released its latest earnings report after closing bell tonight, posting non-GAAP earnings of $9.36 per share on $26.06 billion in revenue. The Street had been looking for adjusted earnings of $9.64 per share on $20.6 billion in revenue. In the same quarter a year ago, the company reported $8.67 per share in adjusted earnings on $21.3 billion in revenue.
Alphabet / Google’s paid clicks still rising
Alphabet’s GAAP earnings per share rose to $7.56 from $7.06 in the year-ago quarter. Google segment revenues rose to $25.8 billion from $21.2 billion a year ago. Google’s ad revenues rose 17% to $22.4 billion, while Google properties revenues rose 20% year over year to $18 billion. Other Bets revenues rose to $262 million from $150 million a year previously. Cost of revenues rose to $10.7 billion from $8.2 billion a year ago.
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Aggregate paid clicks rose 36% year over year, while paid clicks on Google properties increased 43%. Paid clicks on Google Network Members’ properties rose 7%. Aggregate cost per click fell 15% year over year.
Alphabet / Google’s pricing under pressure
Google’s ad pricing has been under pressure since the company changed its platforms, resulting in lower cost per click. Despite this, analysts were bullish on the company’s ad revenues going into tonight’s earnings report. The December quarter was also the first in which the Pixel smartphone line was on sale, so analysts were anxious to see how well the new phones did, with estimates ranging widely from 1 million to 2.5 million phones during the fourth quarter. Google faces an uphill battle against Apple and Samsung, but most analysts expect the company to make headway in the market slowly.
According to data from financial analytics firm S3 Partners, short interest in Alphabet has risen 21% this month as short-sellers pumped $377 million to their positions as the stock rose going into tonight’s earnings report. Short interest in the Google parent now stands at $2.14 billion, S3 reported before the bell tonight, marking the first time the stock’s short interest surpassed $2 billion since May 2015. The firm believes that short-sellers saw an overbought situation that stood to give up recent gains in the event of an earnings miss.
Class A sshares of Alphabet pulled back by as much as 2.35% to $836.88 in after-hours trading tonight.