Alphabet Inc. reported first-quarter revenue that rose more than expected, showing demand for advertising was relatively high in the months before the coronavirus pandemic hit the online search giant’s customers.
The Google parent said sales came in at $33.71 billion, up 14% from a year ago. That compares with an average analyst estimate of $32.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The results reflect the period before the full impact of the pandemic, which forced thousands of businesses to cut marketing spending.
The company doesn’t issue forecasts, however, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said the final month of the quarter was difficult. “Performance was strong during the first two months of the quarter, but then in March we experienced a significant slowdown in ad revenues,” she said in astatement. “We are sharpening our focus on executing more efficiently, while continuing to invest in our long-term opportunities.”
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the CFO suggested the company’s services are being used more, which should help results in the future. “Given the usage trends we are seeing, we remain really optimistic about long-term trends,” she said.
The long-term opportunities include search, cloud computing, machine learning and consumer hardware, Porat added, while noting the company is “looking at levers we have to moderate spending.”
Alphabet shares gained 3.9% in extended trading. The stock closed at $1,232.59 in New York and has fallen about 7% this year.
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