Alphabet hits a record high after earnings top expectations


The fact the company offered figures excluding fines for both the second quarter and the same period a year ago is telling: such things aren't limited to any one quarter. Today, Google's advertising business alone is responsible for 86 percent of Alphabet's revenues.

Google lawyers talked to their European Union counterparts about the possibility of a settlement in June 2017, weeks after the company had been fined €2.4 billion for abusing its dominant position to promote its shopping service.

Shares in Alphabet jumped 3.6% to $1,254.12 in after-hours trade, which could mark a new record for the internet giant if confirmed when markets open Tuesday.

In context: Google has billions of daily users that could be generating significant amounts of revenue for the company.

Google is appealing the ruling, which found it abused its dominance in mobile software.

A larger share of Google's ad dollars went to its own digital properties, including the search engine and YouTube, rather than outside websites that run its ads. These antitrust actions are created to ease access to the Android mobile operation.

Google also appears to be emerging from a period of doubt surrounding the transition to mobile, where advertising revenue is harder to come by.

The company now has $14.1 billion in cash set aside, up $3.4 billion from the end of a year ago, though its marketable securities are down by almost the same amount.

Still, Alphabet's outlook remains tempered by cost concerns, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham said in a report this month. While that's nearly three times the S&P 500 Index's gain, it trails Netflix, Inc. and even Facebook Inc., which is trading near a record after rebounding from a data-privacy scandal in March sparked consumer backlash and regulatory scrutiny.

On average, Wall Street was looking for Q2 earnings of $9.54 per share with $32.2 billion in revenue.

Cost increases have come across the enterprise.

Some in the industry also cite GDPR, which convinced more advertisers to funnel ad spending to Google and its main rival Facebook Inc.

The trend of increasing traffic acquisition costs (what Google spends to acquire advertising traffic) continued in Q2 2018, though just marginally.

Amazon's encroachment into advertising has threatened Google's lucrative deals with media companies and advertisers.

Vestager said Google waited at least a year too long to reach out.

"One of the biggest opportunities for investment continues to be in our ads business", Porat told analysts on the earnings call.