Alphabet’s stock surges 14% following positive earnings report and announcement of inaugural dividend payout.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, speaks on artificial intelligence during a Bruegel think tank conference in Brussels, Belgium, on Jan. 20, 2020.

Alphabet shares rallied in extended trading on Thursday after the company reported results that topped analysts’ estimates, showed soaring profits in its cloud division, and announced its first dividend. The after-hours jump lifted Alphabet’s market cap past $2 trillion.

Here are the results:

  • Earnings per share: $1.89 vs. $1.51 per share expected by LSEG
  • Revenue: $80.54 billion vs. $78.59 billion expected by LSEG

Wall Street is also watching several other numbers in the report:

  • YouTube advertising revenue: $8.09 billion vs. $7.72 billion expected, according to StreetAccount.
  • Google Cloud revenue: $9.57 billion vs. $9.35 billion expected, according to StreetAccount.
  • Traffic acquisition costs (TAC): $12.95 billion $12.74 billion expected, according to StreetAccount.

Alphabet’s revenue increased 15% from $69.79 billion a year earlier, the fastest rate of growth since early 2022.

Alphabet said its board approved a cash dividend of 20 cents per share to be paid on June 17, to stockholders of record as of June 10. The company said it “intends to pay quarterly cash dividends in the future.”

Alphabet’s dividend follows Meta, which announced its first dividend in February. The company also said its board authorized the repurchase of an additional $70 billion in shares “in a manner deemed in the best interest of the company and its stockholders.” Alphabet closed the quarter with cash, equivalents, and marketable securities of $108 billion, down slightly from $110.9 billion a year earlier.

Net income jumped 57% to $23.66 billion, or $1.89 a share, from $15.05 billion, or $1.17 a share, a year earlier. The company also beat Wall Street’s expectations for YouTube advertising revenue and cloud revenue.

Operating income in Google’s cloud business more than quadrupled to $900 million, showing that the company is finally generating substantial profits after pouring money into the business for years to keep up with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

The company has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence, adding generative AI features to search and other services to ensure that consumers continue using Google tools even as the way they seek information online changes. CEO Sundar Pichai said in the earnings release: “Our leadership in AI research and infrastructure, and our global product footprint, position us well for the next wave of AI innovation.”

Google reported total ad sales of $61.66 billion — up from $54.55 billion a year ago. Google’s core advertising business is reaccelerating after a difficult 2022 and 2023, when rising interest rates and inflationary concerns forced brands to pull back their spending.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

Yves Herman | Reuters

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