Google suffered ‘pullback’ in ad spending over holidays, Alphabet stock falls after earnings



Alphabet Inc.’s stock slipped nearly 5% in extended trading Thursday after the tech giant missed slightly on revenue and earnings in ho-hum quarterly results.

Google’s parent company reported fiscal fourth-quarter total revenue of $76.05 billion, up from $75.3 billion a year ago. Earnings were $13.62 billion, or $1.05 per share, compared with $20.64 billion, or $1.53 per share, last year. Alphabet’s revenue, minus traffic-acquisition costs (TAC), was $63.12 billion, vs. $61.9 billion a year ago.

“We’re on an important journey to re-engineer our cost structure in a durable way and to build financially sustainable, vibrant, growing businesses across Alphabet,” Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in a statement announcing the results. The company recently announced 12,000 layoffs and has scaled back hires.

In a conference call later with analysts, Google Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler said a “pullback” in spending by advertisers amid a more challenging economy as well as foreign-exchange headwinds impacted sales.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected Alphabet


to report total revenue of $76.2 billion and earnings of $1.18 per share, with sales expected to be in line with last year’s results and profit declining from the holiday season a year ago. Revenue, minus TAC, were modeled at $63.2 billion, which also suggests little to no growth from last year.

Google’s total advertising sales slid to $59 billion from $61.2 billion a year ago, missing analysts’ average expectations of $60.44 billion. Google Cloud brought in $7.32 billion, compared with $5.54 billion last year. YouTube ad sales slipped to $7.96 billion from $8.63 billion a year ago.

“The search giant underperformed our expectations across almost all business units, most importantly its core ad-search segment,” Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at, said. “Once again, YouTube growth slowed to a crawl amid tough competition from TikTok and other players in the video-streaming space.”

A dip in digital advertising has defined the past few quarters for Google, Meta Platforms Inc.
Snap Inc.
Pinterest Inc.

and other companies dependent on ads. Meta’s better-than-expected quarterly report Wednesday was a sign of encouragement after Snap had another desultory quarterly performance.

Indeed, Alphabet shares closed up 7% in Thursday’s regular session, at $107.74, before retreating in after-hours trading.

Read more: Alphabet earnings: What to expect from the Google parent company

“After Alphabet’s advertising revenue cycle reached peak growth” in the second quarter of 2021, revenue for this part of the business is set to decelerate for the sixth quarter in a row, said Monness, Crespi, Hardt analyst Brian White, who forecast a 3% drop in the recently completed quarter.

On Thursday, Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said that beginning in
the current quarter, AI subsidiary DeepMind will be included in Alphabet’s corporate costs rather than in Other Bets.

Alphabet’s stock has declined 24.7% over the past 12 months. The S&P 500 index 

is down 6.7% over the past year.



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