Google’s parent company Alphabet has released its results for the fourth quarter of 2019, and consequently the year.
The results are a tale of two markers, with profits impressing but revenues disappointing when compared to the expectations of analysts. In 2019 as a whole Google delivered revenues of $162 billion, up 18% on 2018. That compares to the 2018 results which were up 23% on 2017, however.
The relatively secretive Alphabet has also opened up its results to easier scrutiny by the introduction of revenue categories much like Microsoft’s business areas, as Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google explained in a press release: “To provide further insight into our business and the opportunities ahead, we’re now disclosing our revenue on a more granular basis, including for Search, YouTube ads and Cloud.”
Those more granular results revealed that YouTube ad revenues reached $15.1bn for the year, while Google Cloud achieved $8.9bn. Quarterly hardware sales in the busy christmas season were down year on year, however.
In a call with investors, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of both Alphabet and Google after the recent stepping down of founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, spoke of the company’s long-term approach, perhaps to assuage the aforementioned disappointments: “Our thesis has always been to apply [...] deep computer science capabilities across Google and our Other Bets to grow and develop into new areas. The Alphabet structure allows us to have a portfolio of different businesses with different time horizons without trying to stretch a single management team across different areas. We'll continue to take a long-term view, managing the portfolio with the discipline and rigor needed to deliver long-term returns.”