Alphabet Joins $2 Trillion Club

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Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), helped by strong earnings, will pass the $2 trillion market cap at the opening of trading. The only companies ahead of it are Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) ($2.97 trillion), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) ($2.62 trillion), and Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) ($2.06 trillion).

Alphabet earned its spot the hard way. It continued to drive its key online marketing business, even though cloud computing and AI revenue helped boost earnings.

Revenue for the period was $80.5 billion, up from $69.8 billion in the same period the year before. Net income was $23.7 billion, compared to $15.1 billion last year. (See how much money Alphabet makes every minute.)

Alphabet also said it would buy back $70 billion of its shares.

Google advertising, which includes ads at its own site, Google ad inventory at other sites, and YouTube, surged from $54.5 billion to $61.6 billion. YouTube did particularly well, with its revenue up from $6.7 billion to $81.0 billion. Google Services revenue, including advertising and subscriptions, rose from $61.2 billion to $70.4 billion. Operating income for Services rose from $21.7 billion to $27.9 billion.

Google’s Cloud business was also particularly strong. It rose from $7.5 billion to $9.6 billion. Operating income for the division rose from $191 million to $900 million. “For years, Google Cloud was usually a weak spot during Alphabet’s earnings calls,” said Lee Sustar, a principal analyst with Forrester Research. “These latest results show that Google Cloud’s AI offerings not only got enterprise customers to take another look, but spend some serious money.”

Every one of Alphabet’s metrics was above expectations, which is why it topped the $2 trillion market cap mark.

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