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Alphabet beats Q4 expectations with growth in ad sales, Google Cloud

Alphabet's Q4 revenues grew 32% year-over-year, while Google Cloud grew 45%.
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Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Staff Writer on

Google's parent company Alphabet on Tuesday reported better-than-expected fourth quarter financial results, thanks to broad-based strength in advertiser spending and strong consumer online activity. The company also credited substantial ongoing revenue growth from Google Cloud.

Google advertising pulled in $61.24 billion in sales, up 33% year-over-year. And while Google's ad business continues to subsidize its cloud expansion, Google Cloud revenue grew 45% year-over-year.

Total revenues for Alphabet in Q4 came to $75.33 billion, up 32% year-over-year. The company reported an overall net income of $20.64 billion and diluted earnings per share of $30.69. 

Analysts were expecting earnings of $27.32 per share on revenue of $72.13 billion. 

"Our deep investment in AI technologies continues to drive extraordinary and helpful experiences for people and businesses, across our most important products," Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, said in a statement. "Q4 saw ongoing strong growth in our advertising business, which helped millions of businesses thrive and find new customers, a quarterly sales record for our Pixel phones despite supply constraints, and our Cloud business continuing to grow strongly."

Google Services, which includes Google advertising, brought in $69.4 billion in revenue. Within Google Services, Google Search and other ad revenue (except for Youtube ad sales) grew to $43.3 billion in Q4. Revenue for YouTube ads grew to $8.63 billion in Q4 2021.

Google Services' Q4 operating income totaled $25.99 billion. Google Cloud posted a Q4 operating loss of $890 million -- better than Q4 2020's operating loss of $1.24 billion. 

For full year 2021, Google Cloud saw over 80% growth in total deal volume for Google Cloud Platform, Pichai said on a conference call Tuesday. It saw over 65% growth in the number of deals over $1 billion.

Alphabet's "other bets" business segment brought in quarterly revenues of $181 million and posted an operating loss of $1.45 billion. 

Alphabet also reported an operating loss of $1.768 billion from unallocated corporate costs, which primarily include corporate initiatives, corporate shared costs, such as finance and legal, including certain fines and settlements, as well as costs associated with certain shared R&D activities.

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