Google Parent Alphabet Q4 Sales Surge; YouTube Ad Revenue At $6.9 Billion, Up 46%

Google/YouTube parent Alphabet saw revenue jump last quarter driven by YouTube and search. Total sales surged to $56.9 billion for the last three months of 2020 from $46 billion the year before, smashing expectations.

YouTube ad revenue jumped to $6.9 billion from $4.7 billion the year before and $5 billion last quarter. Google search and other advertising revenue was $31.9 billion, from $27.2 billion the year before.

Closely watched Google Cloud revenues of $13 billion for 2020 and $3.8 billion for the quarter were in line with expectations with more details of the business provided for the first time and the sector sees a surge of growth and investor interest.

Earnings per share of $22.30 were also a beat — way up from consensus EPS of $15.90 and EPS of $15.35 in the year earlier quarter.

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Alphabet shares, which had been trading at historic highs before the numbers came out at market close, were up 6.5% in after-hours trading. Anticipation was especially heated around what’s being called the “Cloud Wars” as Alphabet and Amazon, which is leading in the space, both report numbers this afternoon. Google Cloud revenue is benefiting from the strong structural growth in sector demand.

Cloud computer, including web services, which provide infrastructure to link sites to servers and users, are closely followed by Wall Street and gained public note last month when Amazon Web Services, or AWS (the leader in the space, followed by Microsoft’s Azure) stopped supporting conservative social media site Parler after the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last month.

Google and Apple also removed Parler from their app stores. A week ago, YouTube indefinitely extended its ban of former President Donald Trump, who faces an impeachment trial next week in the Senate for inciting the Capitol rioters.

Brand advertising and connected TV remain catalysts for YouTube, as Google’s search and display ads are more mature businesses. But the owner of the world’s largest search engine is the target of an anti-trust suit by the U.S. Department of Justice. Its share of search is estimated to be more than 90% globally (excluding China).

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