What happened

Shares of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) increased more than 12% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, following the release of the online search giant's second-quarter results.

So what

Alphabet's revenue jumped 19% year over year to $38.94 billion, besting Wall Street's expectations for revenue of $38.15 billion. The company's net income leapt 21% to $9.95 billion, or $14.21 per share. That, too, was above analysts' estimates for earnings per share of $11.30.

Google's core advertising business continues to enjoy robust growth, with revenue rising 16% to $32.6 billion. Yet Google's "other revenues" segment is expanding even more rapidly. Fueled by the strong growth of Google's cloud business, revenue in this segment surged 40% to $6.2 billion.

"Q2 was another strong quarter for Google Cloud, which reached an annual revenue run rate of over $8 billion and continues to grow at a significant pace," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said during a conference call with analysts.

A digital cloud surrounded by digital charts.

Google's cloud business is a key growth driver for Alphabet. Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Although Alphabet continues to invest aggressively in its promising slate of growth initiatives, it's also returning enormous amounts of capital to shareholders. The company announced a $25 billion share repurchase plan along with its second-quarter results.

Alphabet's tremendous free cash flow production should allow the internet giant to continue to reward its shareholders with stock buybacks and value-creating investments in the years ahead. And judging by the stock's recent gains, it appears that investors are pleased.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.