Look to the future at Alphabet
Alphabet’s final quarter results make for pleasant reading for Apple and Microsoft shareholders. Less so for those who have invested in Alphabet itself.
Traffic acquisition costs rose 14% to $8.5bn in the three months to December as the company was forced to pay more to keep Google Search as the default option in Apple (US: AAPL) devices. Meanwhile cloud revenues – split out from the rest of Google for the first time – rose 53% compared to 64% growth at cloud rival Microsoft (US: MSFT) in the same period. Indeed, after a remarkably strong earnings season for the US tech sector, Alphabet (US: GOOGL) is one of the only companies to disappoint.
The short-term outlook is not much more encouraging as the company comes…
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