The Google parent company's earnings dropped to $3.52 billion, or $5.01 per share, as a result of the one-time charge brought by the European Commission last month. Europe's foremost antitrust watchdog argued that the internet giant had favored its own shopping services over those of rivals. Still, Alphabet beat analysts' expectations for earnings of $4.44 per share.
Shares of Alphabet dropped 2.9% to $969.00 in after-hours trading on Monday. The sell-off continued into Tuesday.
Alphabet didn't provide many details on its next steps in regard to the fine, except to say that it continues to review its options. The company has until the end of August to decide how it will resolve the issue and inform the EU of its plans. The next deadline is at the end of September, when it must change how it presents results, lest it risk being fined up to 5% of Alphabet's daily revenue.
"There's not really much of an update there as we're still early in our analysis of the decision of the right next steps," Google CFO Ruth Porat said on the call with investors. "We do have time to notify the Commission for proposed remedies as well as to implement changes."
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Wall Street analysts continue to weigh whether the record-breaking fine will have much of a long-term impact. Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser said in a note following the earnings report that he remains mindful about how the EC fines will impact Alphabet in the future.
"[The ruling] could yet translate into more fines if remedies are insufficient," Wieser wrote. "Further, the ruling may oblige Google to make other changes to other parts of its businesses to help the company support the spirit of the ruling."
While Alphabet's top-line results were slammed by the antitrust charges, it had an otherwise solid quarter. Revenue surged 21% year-over-year to $26.01 billion, surpassing Wall Street's expected $25.6 billion. Porat said on the earnings call that revenue was driven by "tremendous" results in mobile search ads and YouTube ads.
Paid clicks on Google's ads were up 52% from the year prior, but advertisers paid 23% less per ad click, which was higher than the 15% analysts' projected.
Alphabet's costs to acquire customers, or traffic acquisition costs, were $5.1 billion, which was more than the $4.75 billion analysts' estimated. "Margin erosion was a modest negative for the quarter," Wieser noted.
Google's differentiated revenue streams have become more and more important as the company faces an increasing possibility that the ad market may soon reach a saturation point. Porat acknowledged this on the call, saying that its non-ad businesses are scaling nicely. Google's other revenues segment, which includes its Google Cloud Platform, as well as hardware products like the Google Home, was up 42% to $3.09 billion.
"We continue to see increasing contribution from our growing non-ads revenue businesses," Porat explained. "We've been making big bets within Google focused on cloud hardware and subscription businesses and YouTube in order to better serve customers, while also building additional and differentiated revenue streams."
CEO Sundar Pichai reiterated that YouTube now has 1.5 billion monthly users and that people are watching about 60 minutes of content per day on phones and tablets. The fastest growing screen for YouTube, however, is on televisions, on which viewership doubled year-over-year, Pichai said.
Google's cloud ambitions also seem to be coming to fruition. Pichai said Google closed three times the number of cloud deals worth $500,000 or more in the second quarter than it did last year.
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