Spectacular Q1 earnings report from Google leads Alphabet to pay a dividend for the first time

Spectacular Q1 earnings report from Google leads Alphabet to pay a dividend for the first time

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Google saw a sharp rise in advertising revenue during the first Q1 of 2024. For example, ad revenue attributed to Google Search rose 14.4% to $46.2 billion, and ad revenue from streaming video platform YouTube rose a strong 21% to $8.09 billion. All Google advertising amounted to $61.7 billion, 13% higher than the $54.5 billion reported for Q1 2023. 
Google subscriptions, platforms, and devices, the category that includes Pixel devices, generated revenue 17.9% higher at $8.74 billion. Overall Google Services revenue, at $70.4 billion, rose 13.6% year-over-year. Google even had a strong 28.4% annual gain in revenue attributable to Google Cloud which came in at $9.57 billion over the first three months of the year. 

Traffic acquisition costs rose, which is a category that Google would prefer to see decline. It cost the company $13 billion to attract traffic to its sites, 10.5% higher than the $11.7 billion it cost Google during the same quarter last year. Headcount declined 5.1% from 190,711 to 180,895.

Overall first-quarter revenue was $80.5 billion compared to the $69.8 billion generated a year ago. That works out to a solid 15.4% hike in revenue for Google. And income also had a big increase rising from $17.4 billion during the first quarter last year to the $25.5 billion reported for this year’s first quarter. That is a very strong 46.3% gain in income year-over-year. Diluted earnings-per-share of $1.89  were 62% higher than the $1.17 per-share figure reported for the same quarter in 2023.

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As a result of the strong report, Alphabet announced a cash dividend for the first time of 20 cents per share that will be paid on June 17, 2024, to stockholders of record as of June 10, 2024. Stockholders of the company’s Class A, Class B, and Class C shares will be eligible to receive the dividend that Alphabet plans to continue to pay every quarter.

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Our results in the first quarter reflect strong performance from Search, YouTube and Cloud. We are well under way with our Gemini era and there’s great momentum across the company. Our leadership in AI research and infrastructure, and our global product footprint, position us well for the next wave of AI innovation.”

After declining $3.15 or 1.96% to $157.95 during regular trading hours, Alphabet shares soared in after-hours trading rising $19.13 or 12.11% to $177.08.

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