Alphabet posted $20.26 billion in gross revenue for the period, while Wall Street expected $20.32 billion. Earnings per share of $7.50 were well below forecasts of $7.96 per share. Shares of Alphabet dropped $47.03, or 6.02%, to $732.97 in after-hours trading on Thursday. Though gross sales disappointed Wall Street, they represented a 17% gain from the first quarter of last year.
"The primary driver was the increased use of mobile search by consumers," CFO Ruth Porat told investors.
Alphabet stock was trading near all-time highs before the report "leaving no wiggle room for a disappointment on what were very high expectations," said Jim Cramer, TheStreet's founder and manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.
"While some bears may point toward the operating expense growth in the quarter," Cramer added, "we note that this is due to a sizable yet targeted increase in head count as the company ramps [up] its efforts across cloud, apps and other high-priority areas."
Paid advertising clicks increased 29% from the first quarter of 2015, while the cost per click fell 9%.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who collected $100.5 million in 2015 according to recent disclosures, touted the success of the company's YouTube business. Alphabet recently started to break out Google's core performance from the "Other Bets" segment. Among the company's core businesses are search, the Android mobile platform, online maps, the Chrome browser, YouTube and Gmail. "Other Bets," which includes operations such as the Nest smart home unit and Google Fiber Internet service, generated $166 million in sales, a gain of 108%.
"Within Google we are focused on managing the expenses we can actually control," she said. "However, the trends driving revenue growth are accompanied by greater required investment in our ecosystem."