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Alphabet reports big fourth-quarter beat; stock pops

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Google parent Alphabet reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenue. The shares popped more than 6% in extended trading.

The company also announced a 20-for-1 stock split that will go into effect in July.

Here are the key numbers:

Earnings per share (EPS): $30.69 vs $27.34 expected, according to Refinitiv
Revenue: $75.33 billion vs $72.17 billion expected, according to Refinitiv
YouTube advertising revenue: $8.63 billion vs. $8.87 billion expected, according to StreetAccount
Google Cloud revenue: $5.54 billion vs $5.47 billion expected, according to StreetAccount
Traffic acquisition costs (TAC): $13.43 billion vs. $12.84 billion expected, according to StreetAccount

Alphabet reported revenue growth of 32%, proving again that it was able to withstand the pressures from the pandemic and inflation.

The results follow a year of outperformance. The stock surged 65% last year, beating all other Big Tech companies and more than tripling gains in the S&P 500.

Google’s advertising revenue came in at $61.24 billion for the quarter, up 33% from $46.2 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The company’s cloud unit also beat estimates, with revenue rising 45% to $5.54 billion. Operating loss in cloud came in at $890 million during the quarter, which narrowed from the $1.14 billion loss a year ago. However, it expanded from third quarter, when the unit lost $644 million.

Revenue for the company’s Other Bets umbrella, which includes the self-driving car unit Waymo and life sciences unit Verily, came in at $181 million — down slightly from a year ago.

Traffic Acquisition Costs (TAC), the metric used to describe what the company pays other websites to acquire traffic, came in higher than Wall Street expected at $13.43 billion.

In splitting its stock, Alphabet is following moves by Apple and Tesla in the last couple years.

The split doesn’t change the fundamentals of the business. Rather, it will lower the price of each share, a move that companies often make when their stock trades in the thousands of dollars. Were the split to happen as of Tuesday’s close, the cost of each share would go from $2,572.88 to $128.64, and each existing holder would get 19 additional shares for every one they own.

Alphabet shares started the year in a tailspin, dropping 6.6% in January as Wall Street sold out of tech stocks. However, with the after-hours gain, Alphabet has turned positive for the year.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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