Google Q4 2015 Earnings – Mobile and video deliver while “other bets” take away

…ok, so it’s really the Alphabet rather than the Google Earnings Call, and tonight’s really cleared up the financial distinctions between Alphabet’s split between Google and, the rather candidly named, “other bets”.

The main headline of the evening was Google’s valuation overtaking that of Apple in after-hours trading (I told you it would happen), as much from Google’s growth as from Apple recent decline. This lift was certainly helped by another share buy back announced on the call.

Google share hikeRuth Porat delivered another confident review of the financial data, and in a nutshell it’s all positive:

  • 18% Growth in YoY revenues (driven primarily by mobile with support by YouTube and the ad network)
  • Very strong growth from the UK (over 20%) although UK figures are no longer separated out in the results shared on the call. Indeed there was a great question, from Ross Sandler at Deutsche Bank, about how a mature/advanced market like the UK can see such high growth.
  • Sundar went on to elaborate that Gmail has now joined the billion club…products with over one billion monthly active users (MAU) alongside Search, Google Play, Android, Maps, Chrome and YouTube. Not to be outdone, Facebook squeezed a well-timed blog post on WhatsApp’s one billion MAUs.

While Google’s earnings were mighty impressive, the tone was slightly different when the call moved onto the “Other Bets”

This was the first time Alphabet has chosen to separate out the business units and there were many caveats preceding the financials for the “moonshots”, which included businesses like Nest Fiber and Verily. None of these businesses are expected to be short term hits, but there is certainly an expectation of big things in the distant future.

Revenue from the “Other bets” equalled £448m but the significant investment required delivered an annual loss of £3.6bn …or one-third of a Twitter.

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