What you need to know
- Alphabet's Q1 2020 revenues were $41 billion, up 13% year over year.
- Ad revenue experienced a "significant slowdown" in March, but YouTube ads still gained 33% year over year.
- Google's "other" revenues, including its hardware division, posted revenues up 22% year over year.
Alphabet's first quarter earnings are in, and Google's parent company posted another slate of relatively strong numbers. Revenue came in at over $41 billion, up 13% year over year, while net income was $6.8 billion, also up about 2.6% year over year. Interestingly though, income numbers were actually down year over year when removing the effects of European Commission's (eventually) $1.7 billion fine levied last year. Though operating margin for the quarter was still a healthy 19%.
Alphabet's stock ($GOOG) is up nearly 8% in after-hours trading.
Google's "other" revenues, as we like to focus on here because that includes Google's hardware business, had an increase over 22% year over year, which is a big positive move. Though the total revenues of $4.4 billion is a relatively small portion of Alphabet's overall revenues. Alphabet's infamous "other bets" — the collection of small, experimental companies it operates — lost over $1.1 billion in the quarter, deeper than the $868 million lost in Q1 2019.
Considering the extent of the coronavirus pandemic had not yet been fully realized until late in the first quarter, its impacts weren't massive on Alphabet's earnings. But you can see that its numbers weren't quite as strong as they could have been. CFO Ruth Porat mentioned a "significant slowdown" in ad revenue in March, which is a noted trend across the ad industry in light of current events. She continued, saying Alphabet's "... sharpening our focus on executing more efficiently, while continuing to invest in our long-term opportunities."
But the numbers were still strong this quarter. Notably, YouTube ad revenue was up over 33% year over year. Overall Google advertising revenue was still up 10% year over year, to $33.7 billion. The only standout cause for concern is the increase in "traffic acquisition costs," or how much Google spends to bring traffic to its ads, which was up over 8% year-over-year, taking some shine off of revenue growth numbers.
With lots of strong signals, including a big bump in YouTube ad revenue, Google doesn't seem to be hit too hard by the pandemic overall. The effects are likely to be seen more significantly in its Q2 earnings, since the entirety of April and May will be driven by coronavirus economic impacts.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.