Alphabet, Google's parent company, reported another pretty solid beat this afternoon for its first quarter as it more or less has continued to keep its business growing substantially — and is growing even faster than it was a year ago today.
Google said its revenue grew 26% year-over-year to $31.16 billion in the first quarter this year. In the first quarter last year, Google said its revenue had grown 22% between Q1 of 2016 and Q1 of 2017. All this is a little convoluted, but the end result is that Google is actually growing faster than it was just a year ago despite the continued trend of a decline in its cost-per-click — a rough way of saying how valuable an ad is — as more and more web browsing shifts to mobile devices. Last year, Google said it recorded $24.75 billion in the first quarter.
Once again, Google's "other bets" — its fringe projects like autonomous vehicles and balloons — showed some additional health as that revenue grew while the losses shrank. That's a good sign as it looks to explore options beyond search, but in the end it still represents a tiny fraction of Google's overall business.
Here's the final scorecard:
- Revenue: $31.16 billion, compared to $30.36 billion Wall Street estimates and up 26% year-over-year.
- Earnings: $9.93 per share, compared to $9.28 per share from Wall Street
- Other Revenues: $4.35 billion, up from $3.27 billion in Q1 last year
- Other Bets: $150 million, up from $132 million in Q1 2017
- Other Bets losses: $571 million, down from $703 million in the first quarter last year
- TAC as a % of Revenue: 24%
In the end, it's a beat compared to what Wall Street wanted, and it's getting a very Google-y response. Investors were looking for earnings of $9.35 per share on $30.36 billion in revenue. Google's stock is up around 2% in extended trading, which for Google is adding more than $10 billion in value as it races alongside Microsoft and Amazon to chase Apple as the most valuable company in the world by market cap. Google jumped as much as 5% in extended trading, though it's flattened out
Google's traffic acquisition cost, or TAC, appears to also remain stable as a percentage of its revenue. This is a little bit of a sticking point for observers for the company and a potential negative signal for investors as more and more web browsing shifts to mobile. It's ticked up very slowly over the past several years, but is now sitting at around 24% of its total revenue.
Google, at its core, is an advertising company that is going to make money off its billions of users across all of its properties. But as everything goes to mobile devices, the actual value of those ads is going to drop off over time simply because mobile browsing has a different set of behaviors. Google's business has always been to offset that cost-per-click with a growing number of impressions — and, indeed, it seems like the status quo is sticking around for this one.
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.