Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) shares were falling 2.8% after previously falling down Friday, October 26 after the Google parent company reported earnings of $13.06 per share on revenue of $33.7 billion.
Analysts were expecting the company to report third-quarter earnings of $10.41 per share on revenue of $34.04 billion. Following the earnings release Thursday afternoon, shares hit the skids in late trade as investors digested the earnings.
Advertising continues to be Alphabet's biggest cash cow, with ad revenues on Google platforms accounting for about 70% of net revenue in recent years, growing about 20% annually. In the third quarter, Google's advertising revenue totaled $28.95 billion, with Alphabet and Google CFO Ruth Porat noting in the earnings report that momentum was "led by mobile search and our many products that help billions of people every day."
Alphabet's Google segment accounted for 98.9% of the company's revenue in 2017, according to FactSet.
Outside of advertising and Google revenues, Alphabet is also facing scrutiny for data privacy issues that cost the company a $5.07 billion European Union fine that the company took as a charge in the second quarter. The company has appealed the ruling, despite taking the charge. In the U.S., Google CEO Sundar Pichai is due to testify before Congress on data protection and related issues.
On a call with investors on Thursday, analysts probed Pichai and Porat on a range of initiatives, from the commercialization of Waymo, its driverless car unit, and Verily, its life sciences unit, to its business endeavors in China.
Alphabet wraps projects like Waymo and Verily, which are not directly related to its core advertising business, in a segment dubbed "Other Bets". Those bets only attract a tiny sliver of Alphabet's overall revenue at $146 million for the quarter, but Waymo in particular generated interest on the call for its potential commercial value.
Porat said that Google has moved into the "very early days" of commercializing Waymo with projects like an early rider program and exploring B2B applications of the technology, like licensing it for deliveries or other logistics use cases.
On Google's China business, including a controversial plan for a censored Google search engine for the China market, Pichai stayed mostly mum on specifics but said that "we are constantly looking for ways we can better serve Chinese users." While the large Chinese market presents a potentially sizable opportunity for Alphabet to expand Google's search and advertising business, it's also a challenging market given the well-developed competitive field for search.
Alphabet shares have had a good run this year, reaching a high of $1,252.89 in July after its previous earnings release.
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