Google parent Alphabet tops estimates on rebound of digital ads

Marketers spent more on search to convince consumers to travel and shop in stores again.

Google parent Alphabet tops estimates on rebound of digital ads

Google parent Alphabet Inc. reported quarterly sales that topped Wall Street estimates, driven by robust digital ad spending from marketers eager to get consumers buying again during an uneven pandemic reopening.

Second-quarter revenue, excluding payments to distribution partners, was about $51 billion, the Mountain View, California-based company said Tuesday in a statement. Analysts projected $46.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit was $27.26 a share, topping the average estimate of $19.35.

After a digital-ads slowdown a year ago during the COVID-19 pandemic, Google’s advertising business rebounded, buoyed by marketers spending more on search to convince consumers to travel and shop in stores again. The increase in digital advertising sales in the period ended June 30 followed similar results reported last week by social media companies Twitter Inc. and Snap Inc.

The sales growth “reflect elevated consumer online activity and broad-based strength in advertiser spend,” Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said in the statement.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has targeted e-commerce as a major growth area for the internet giant. He deepened his company’s relationship with Shopify Inc., to sharpen its commerce efforts while it continues to chase Amazon.com Inc. Subsidiary YouTube has also joined in. The world’s largest video platform bought an Indian company, Simsim, earlier this month to push deeper into video commerce.

Google has become a chief target of antitrust regulators around the world, who have alleged the company has rigged swaths of the internet to kneecap rivals and aid its growth. The company is facing four lawsuits at home, one from the U.S. Department of Justice and the other three brought by coalitions of state attorneys general. The European Union also formally opened an antitrust probe into Google’s ad technology business last month.

Shares gained about 4.5% in extended trading after closing at $2,638. The stock has jumped 50% this year.

Search and other related businesses generated fiscal second-quarter sales of $35.8 billion in the first quarter. Analysts, on average, estimated $32.2 billion.

YouTube ad revenue came in at $7 billion. Analysts were looking for $6.33 billion.

The company’s cloud division, led by Thomas Kurian, has gained some market share but still lags far behind leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Corp. Google Cloud revenue jumped to $4.63 billion, beating Wall Street expectations of $4.3 billion.

--Bloomberg News