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8 Metrics Capture Alphabet, Inc.'s Impressive Third Quarter

By Daniel Sparks – Oct 27, 2017 at 8:36PM

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From big growth in its core advertising business to Alphabet's surging revenue in nonadvertising segments like cloud and hardware, here are the quarterly highlights.

Alphabet (GOOG 0.21%) (GOOGL 0.11%), parent company of Google, impressed investors on Thursday. The company reported better-than-expected revenue and EPS while also demonstrating strength in some of its smaller and riskier bets. The stock jumped sharply on Friday as investors digested the news.

As Alphabet stock wraps up the week at a new high in response to the big earnings report, here's a look at the seven most telling metrics from the quarter.

Executives walking into Google's headquarters entrance

Image source: Alphabet.

24%: Alphabet's revenue surged 24% during the quarter. The growth was primarily driven by strength from Google advertising and "Google other" revenue, or revenue primarily from the Google Play store, hardware sales, and Google's cloud business.

What was most interesting about Alphabet's revenue growth in the quarter is that it marked a meaningful acceleration from year-over-year revenue growth in previous quarters. In Alphabet's first and second quarters of 2017, revenue increased 22% and 21% year over year, respectively.

21%: Alphabet's core advertising business, which accounts for 87% of Alphabet's total revenue, continued to thrive, with 21% year-over-year revenue growth. Management said advertising revenue growth was driven by strong growth across its Google-branded sites -- namely mobile search on Google.

Alphabet's total revenue for the quarter was $27.7 billion, up from $22.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. On average, analysts were expecting third-quarter revenue of $27.2 billion.

28%: Alphabet's growth put the spotlight on the company's ability to scale. The company's operating margin expanded from 26% in the year-ago quarter to 28% in Q3.

32%: Alphabet's EPS climbed 32% year over year in Q3 to $9.57. On average, analysts were expecting EPS of $8.33.

47%: Though Alphabet's cost-per-click, or the amount advertisers pay Alphabet for each click on an ad, was down 18% year over year, Alphabet easily made up for this in a 47% rise in aggregate paid clicks.

40%: Revenue from Alphabet's Google other segment, not to be confused with Alphabet's "other bets" segment, soared 40% year over year, nearly keeping up with the strong 42% growth in Google other revenue in Q2. The increase was driven by growth in Cloud, Play, and hardware, management said.

Growth in Alphabet's Google other revenue is important, as it helps diversify business away from advertising.

53%: Alphabet's "other bets" revenue, or revenue generated from Google's "moonshot" side projects like Nest, Fiber, and Verily, was $302 million, up 53% year over year.

($812 million): Wrapping up these metrics with one sore spot, Alphabet's other bets operating loss of $812 million continued to weigh on the company's profitability. But the loss was slightly narrower than other bets' operating loss in the year-ago quarter of $861 million.

A woman touches an online search bar

Image source: Getty Images.

In a testament to the sustainability and resilience of Alphabet's business, strong growth during the quarter came not only from advertising, but also from the Cloud, the Google Play store, Google-branded hardware, and other bets. The broad-based growth should be applauded by shareholders.

Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat summed up the company's diversified success in the quarter, saying, "Our momentum is a result of investments over many years in fantastic people, products and partnerships."

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A and C shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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