It's earnings season again. As companies line up to report their latest quarterly results, one company investors should watch this time around is Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG). As one of the biggest publicly traded companies in the world, the parent company of Google isn't the hot stock it was in recent years. Alphabet shares have gained just 10% over the past 12 months, significantly underperforming peers like Apple and Microsoft that have seen their stocks rise about 40% over the same time frame.
Can Alphabet reinvigorate investor interest in its stock when the company reports its third-quarter results later this month? Ahead of that earnings release on Oct. 25, here's an overview of some of the items investors will want to watch.
Revenue and earnings per share
Though Alphabet has underperformed tech-giant peers over the past year, the stock still trades with a fairly steep valuation. Indeed, the company trades at 23 times earnings estimates for next year. To live up to a valuation like this, Alphabet is going to need to deliver some strong growth in the coming years. This means investors should keep an eye on Alphabet's top- and bottom-line growth in Q3.
In Alphabet's most recent quarter, revenue rose 26% year over year, or 23% in constant currency. Earnings per share, when adjusted to exclude European Commission fines, rose 32% year over year. For Alphabet's third quarter, the consensus analyst estimate for the company's revenue is $34.04 billion, representing 23% year-over-year growth. The consensus forecast for Alphabet's earnings per share is $10.45, up 9% from the year-ago quarter.
To live up to its valuation, investors should look for Alphabet to meet or exceed these expectations.
Though the bulk of Alphabet's revenue comes from its advertising business, a growing portion is coming from what the company calls its "Google other" revenue. This revenue came in at $4.4 billion in Q2 and accounted for 13.5% of revenue, up from 12.5% of revenue in the year-ago quarter.
Representing revenue from cloud, hardware, and the Android app store, Alphabet's Google other segment encapsulates some of the company's most promising growth opportunities. Highlighting the segment's momentum, Google other's impressive 37% year-over-year revenue growth in Q2 marked an acceleration from the segment's 36% growth in Q1.
Can Alphabet keep up this higher growth rate in Q3?
One element of Alphabet's Google other segment worth paying particularly close attention to is the company's cloud business. Not only is Alphabet's cloud-computing business a key contributor to the sharp growth Alphabet is seeing in its Google other segment, but the company is investing heavily in the cloud. Management said in its most recent earnings call that its biggest headcount additions were in its cloud business.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai noted there seems to be a secular inflection point in terms of cloud adoption. In fact, the secular growth is so strong that "it feels far from a zero-sum game," Pichai said in Alphabet's second-quarter earnings call.
Look for more optimistic commentary from management on Alphabet's fast-growing cloud business during Alphabet's third-quarter earnings call.
Alphabet reports its third-quarter results after market close on Thursday, Oct. 25.
Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Teresa Kersten is an employee of LinkedIn and is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.