Alphabet Stock Tumbles 6% on Earnings Miss

Adjusted net income rose nearly 16% to $7.50 per share, but analysts were expecting earnings of $7.97 per share.
Matthew HellerApril 22, 2016

Google parent Alphabet Inc.’s first-quarter revenue and profit rose sharply, but fell short of analysts’ expectations, sending its shares tumbling in after-hours trading on Thursday.

Revenues increased 17% to $20.26 billion from a year ago, while adjusted net income rose nearly 16% to $7.50 a share. Analysts expected Alphabet to report earnings of about $7.97 a share on $20.37 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat described the results as “a tremendous start to the year … We’re thoughtfully pursuing big bets and building exciting new technologies, in Google and our Other Bets, that position us well for long term growth.”

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“Other Bets” refers to businesses such as home-automation company Nest and the experimental lab Google X. Revenue from that segment more than doubled in the first quarter to $166 million, while losses rose to $802 million from $633 million.

Investors didn’t share Porat’s enthusiasm. After the market close, the stock fell about $46, or about 6%.

“There’s nothing wrong with this company,” Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners, told The New York Times. “They spent a bit more and took in a bit less than we thought, so Mr. Market is having a mood swing. But it was a fine quarter.”

Alphabet’s total costs and expenses grew 16.4% to $14.92 billion, with executives attributing the expense growth to robust hiring. The company spent $2.4 billion on capital expenditures in the quarter, down 17% from a year earlier, and less than the $2.6 billion expected by analysts.

Wall Street has been expecting Porat to step up scrutiny of spending since she moved to Alphabet from Morgan Stanley last year. Porat said Nest, Internet provider Fiber, and health firm Verily account for the majority of the “other bets” revenue, while most other projects are “pre-revenue.”

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