Financial Performance

Alphabet’s Q2 Results Ease Growth Concerns

“We’re delivering strong growth," CFO Ruth Porat says after Google's parent reports a 19% increase in revenue to $38.9 billion.
Matthew HellerJuly 26, 2019

Alphabet shares rose sharply for a second straight day on Friday after Google’s parent posted better-than-expected quarterly results, easing investor concerns about advertising sales growth.

For the second quarter, Alphabet, which generates about 85% of its revenue from sales of ad space and ad technology, reported revenue of $38.9 billion, up 19% over last year. Analysts had expected revenue of $38.2 billion and 16.8% growth.

Ad sales surged 16% year-over-year to $32.6 billion, helping Alphabet rebound from a first quarter when it missed revenue estimates by $1 billion. The first-quarter miss sparked the biggest one-day sell-off in Alphabet shares in about seven years.

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With the improved second-quarter performance, the stock rose 7% in the after-hours session Thursday and was up 10.3% at $1,252.68 in trading Friday.

“We’re delivering strong growth,” CFO Ruth Porat said in a news release.

The earnings report came days after the U.S. Department of Justice said it was opening an antitrust probe into the Silicon Valley giants to examine the market power of the big tech platforms. Unlike Facebook, Alphabet did not offer any worrisome guidance about increasing regulatory scrutiny.

“We understand there will be scrutiny,” CEO Sundar Pichai said on an analyst call. “We will engage constructively. It’s not new to us.”

Alphabet’s revenue growth has been slowing — the last time it had two consecutive quarters of growth below 20% was three years ago.

“Questions linger about whether privacy, content moderation and antitrust rules proposed or already passed in the United States and other high-revenue countries will slash ad prices,” Reuters noted. “Google also faces an industry-wide slowdown in ad sales in the United States and Europe, with revenue from emerging markets not yet picking up the slack.”

But executives said the second-quarter results show that performance recently has been affected by currency exchange rates and one-off fluctuations rather than advertiser flight or some deeper challenge to its business.

Net income for the second quarter rose to $9.95 billion, or $14.21 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $8.02 billion, or $11.32 per share.