Google’s results, showing a surge in ad sales related to travel and retail, offered a glimpse of online spending in a post-pandemic world: Businesses are boosting digital marketing to capture a public eager to resume something resembling normal life again.
Net profit jumped by 162 per cent to a record $17.9 billion in the three months to March as advertising revenue swelled by a third.
Google parent Alphabet said first-quarter revenue, excluding payments to distribution partners, came in at $45.6 billion, pummeling Wall Street estimates. The company also unveiled a $50-billion share share buyback, sending the stock up more than 4 per cent in early trading Wednesday.
The surge in shares of Alphabet following strong earnings drove the S&P 500 to a record high and bolstered the Nasdaq index.
Covid-19 restrictions have limited travel and trips to physical stores, two key areas of Google’s search business. However, Alphabet shares are up more than 30 per cent this year on optimism vaccinations in the US are reviving these activities. The company is also pushing further into e-commerce, but still lags behind rival Amazon.com.
Microsoft beats estimates
Microsoft Corp. reported quarterly sales and profit that topped analysts’ estimates for a ninth straight quarter, lifted by booming cloud-computing demand. This time, investors weren’t satisfied.
Sales in the period ended March 31 rose to $41.7 billion, the Redmond, Washington-based software maker said Tuesday in a statement. That compared with the $41.1 billion average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg. Still, projections ranged as high as $41.9 billion, with some analysts and investors saying recent gains in the stock had swollen expectations beyond the consensus numbers.
The software giant’s market capitalisation flirted with $2 trillion the past few days as shares soared.