Alphabet reports robust earnings despite European Union fine

Google's attempt to settle its antitrust case in Europe was too little and too late

Alphabet's quarterly profits fall after $5 billion EU fine

In the same quarter a year ago, Alphabet reported earnings of $8.90 per share, excluding a $2.7 billion regulatory fine the European Union imposed on the tech giant. Google plans to contest the ruling.

When including the fine, second-quarter net income fell to $3.20 billion, or $4.54 per Class A and B common share and Class C capital share, from $3.52 billion, or $5.01 per share, a year earlier.

Operating income for the period was $7.9bn, up 15 per cent year on year, or $2.8bn if you subtract the $5bn (€4.3bn) fine for breaking European Union antitrust rules, down 32 per cent. Alphabet's operating margin was 24 per cent without the fine and 9 per cent with it, versus 26 per cent and 16 per cent a year ago, respectively. After Google complied with last year's charges by the European Union related to its shopping service, competitors complained that its solution did little to reduce the harm to their businesses.

Overall revenue came in at $32.7 billion for the quarter.

In a call with analysts to discuss Alphabet's latest earnings, CEO Sundar Pichai emphasized the company's growing use of artificial intelligence to improve Google's news delivery, mapping and photo features.

Alphabet was expected to report revenue of $32.17 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

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Another good signーAlphabet also saw slowing growth in its so-called traffic acquisition costs, or how much the company pays to drive views to its sites.

On the face of it, the European Commission's massive fine hasn't really hurt Alphabet - at least not in the eyes of investors.

Alphabet's "other bets", investments in less established ventures like Calico, Fiber, Nest, Verily, and Waymo, posted an operating loss of $732m, about $100m more than the year-ago quarter, on revenue of $145m.

Finally, Google's "other revenues" segment - which includes the Play Store, hardware sales and a variety of other consumer-focused products - grew again, up 37 percent year-over-year to $4.4 billion in revenue.

Shares in Alphabet jumped 3.6% to $1,254.12 in after-hours trade, which could mark a new record for the internet giant if confirmed when markets open Tuesday.

Alphabet trails Facebook, Amazon and Twitter Inc in valuation as measured by the ratio of enterprise value to expected earnings.

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