Google parent Alphabet posts record-crushing fourth-quarter 2015 earnings

alphabet google anniversary business changes becomes
zhu difeng/Shutterstock
For the first time, Google has reported its earnings as multinational conglomerate Alphabet, which was established as Google’s parent company last year. Alphabet reported a hefty $21.33 billion in revenue and $8.67 in earnings per share in the fourth quarter of the 2015 fiscal year.

Google, which technically is now only one Alphabet’s many subsidiaries, was responsible for about 98 percent of the reported revenue, at $21.178 billion. Alphabet crushed the expectations of analysts, who predicted $20.77 billion in revenue and $8.09 in earnings per share.

Alphabet is now the most valuable company in the world with a stock-market valuation of $553 billion, surpassing, at least for the time being, Apple’s $538 billion market cap.

Although Alphabet is divided into several subsidiaries, its earnings are only split into two: Google, designed for products and services that garner profits, and “Other Bets,” the more experimental moonshot companies crafted to pursue the conglomerate’s alternative undertakings.

Alphabet succinctly defines the two categories as follows:

Google:  “Search, Ads, Commerce, Maps, YouTube, Apps, Cloud, Android, Chrome, Google Play as well as hardware products we sell, such as Chromecast, Chromebooks, and Nexus.”

Other Bets: “Access/Google Fiber, Calico, Nest, Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), GV (formerly Google Ventures), Google Capital, X (formerly [X]) and other initiatives.”

As should be expected from a series of ventures that are highly speculative, Alphabet’s Other Bets subsidiaries brought home a $3.6 billion operating loss last year, with $448 million reported in revenues. Most of that revenue is attributed to Nest, Fiber, and Verily.

Google, by contrast, owes its wealth largely to pay-per-click advertising. Although the amount such advertising generates per click is declining, the overall number of clicks is increasing considerably, more than compensating for that decline.

In “Other Revenues,” which includes the Google Play app store as well as cloud storage services, Google reported earnings of $2.1 billion, an increase of 24 percent year on year.

Maybe Biggie was wrong: “Mo money,” thus far, doesn’t seem to equate to “mo problems” for Alphabet.

Product Review

Don't bother with any other 2-in-1. The Surface Pro 6 is still the best

The Surface Pro been updated to its sixth generation, now coming dressed in black and packing a quad-core processor. Outside of that, you’ll have to dig a little deeper to see where Microsoft has made some truly noteworthy improvements.
Smart Home

Nest gets more colorful with three new options for its smart thermostat

Nest Parent company Alphabet announced this week that its Nest Learning Thermostat will soon be made available in three new, fancier colors: Mirror black, brass, and polished steel.
Smart Home

Google Home Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot: Which is better?

We put the two most popular smart home speakers -- the Google Home Mini and the 3rd generation Amazon Echo Dot -- together and tested them on appearance, audio, and abilities. So which should you buy? Find out how they did in our showdown.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Home Theater

AT&T takes aim at Netflix with HBO-led streaming service set for a 2019 launch

HBO fans have worried that parent company AT&T was looking to turn it into Netflix, but the company is now looking to instead launch a new, separate streaming service with programming from HBO, as well as Warner properties.
Computing

Microsoft co-founder, Seahawks owner Paul Allen dies at 65

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died on October 15 of complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The cancer survivor was best known for his entrepreneurial spirit and his frequent contributions to charities.
Computing

Leaked benchmarks suggest rumored AMD GPU could be king of midrange graphics

AMD's next GPU may not be Navi-based after all. Rumors continue to build about an RX 590 which has now shown up on 3DMark's benchmark database, delivering results that easily outstrip stock clocked GTX 1060s.
Computing

How does Microsoft’s newest Surface stack up against the Apple iPad Pro?

In an era where everyone is taking a bite at Apple’s products, we’ve stacked up the 12.9-inch iPad Pro against the latest Surface Pro 6. Check out this comparison guide to see which one gives you more bang for your buck.
Emerging Tech

Curious how A.I. 'brains' work? Here's a super-simple breakdown of deep learning

What is deep learning? A branch of machine learning, this field deals with the creation of neural networks that are modeled after the brain and adept at dealing with large amounts of human-oriented data, like writing and voice commands.
Computing

Qualcomm’s ‘Snapdragon 1000’ could bring octa-cores to Windows laptops

The rumored Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 CPU may bring the octa-core design of mobiles and tablets to Windows laptops, offering four powerful cores for high performance, and four low-power cores for efficiency.
Computing

Is the new Surface Pro 6 worth the extra money or is the Surface Go good enough?

Each of Microsoft’s Surface devices are great, but with the recent addition of the Surface Pro 6, you might be wondering how it stacks up against the Surface Go. In this comparison piece, we’ve put the two devices up against each other…
Computing

Is the Surface Pro 6 a sidestep, or does it blow away its predecessor?

How good is the new Surface Pro, and is it worth an upgrade? The best way to find out is to pit the Surface Pro 6 vs. Surface Pro 5 in a head to head that tests them both on performance, design, and portability.
Computing

These gloves will make virtual reality feel even more immersive

Scientists from EPFL and ETH Zurich have come up with a thin and light VR glove which makes it so that a touch of an object in the virtual world equates to the physical touch you would expect in real life.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.