Business

Disappointing growth hits Google parent Alphabet's shares

SAN FRANCISCO: Google's parent company Alphabet saw disappointing revenue growth in the fourth quarter, sending shares lower even as profits topped most forecasts.

Detailing its cloud computing and YouTube revenues for the first time on Monday - both of which showed sharp gains - it said profits rose 19 per cent from a year ago in the quarter to nearly US$10.7 billion (S$14.7 billion) as revenues increased 17 per cent to US$46 billion.

Alphabet shares slipped 4.7 per cent in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

The California tech giant, which dominates online search and has developed the Android mobile operating system, has been working to reduce its dependence on digital advertising, which delivers most of its cash.

"Our investments in deep computer science, including artificial intelligence, ambient computing and cloud computing, provide a strong base for continued growth and new opportunities across Alphabet," said chief executive Sundar Pichai.

Ms Ruth Porat, chief financial officer, said after the earnings release that the company has "consistently expanded disclosure" and "the expansion today we think is the most relevant data".

The company said its cloud computing services took in US$2.6 billion in revenue in the past quarter, up more than 50 per cent, and nearly US$9 billion for the year. - AFP

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