It’s good to be the Goog, at least if what you want is to make incredible amounts of money. Continuing its trend as the pandemic rolls on, Google and its parent company Alphabet are absolutely coining it. Revenue for the first quarter of 2021 was 55.314 billion US dollars, an increase of an astonishing 34% over last year.
Perhaps more importantly in terms of investment, Google beat the analysts’ estimates of its performance, earning $26.29 per share versus the expected $15.82. That’s the kind of news that sells even more shares, and indeed, Google was up an impressive 4% in after-hours trading. Since Google’s earnings last quarter were also impressive, as were those of other companies that focus on web services, it doesn’t take a genius to spot the economic winners of a year of transition to remote work.
Ads on Google Search and YouTube continue to drive the bulk of Google’s profits. Search brought in 31.9 billion dollars, up an impressive 30.2%. YouTube ads jumped from 4.04 billion to 6.005 billion dollars, up 48.6%. Revenue from Google Cloud (including its Workspace suite) jumped from 2.77 billion to 4.05 billion. That’s an astounding jump, though Cloud is still operating at a loss. In a year when many companies were consolidating their workforce, Google added almost 17,000 new employees across the globe, for a total of 139,995.
Considered with costs, expenses, and investments, Alphabet had a net profit of 17.93 billion dollars in the quarter, up from 6.84 billion in the same period last year. In less exalted terms: Google’s making just so, so much money, and so much more than it was before.
There’s still a looming specter in front of Google’s rosy report: ongoing antitrust in both the United States and Europe. Google is currently trying to get ahead of those issues with moves like opening up Android more to competing app stores and increasing revenue splits to developers, but regulators could still be readying a legal smackdown that overshadows any amount of profits the company gains in the short term.