What: Shares of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) rose 15.5% in October, according to S&P Capital IQ data, driven by the Internet search giant's stellar third-quarter 2015 report. All told, this pop only extended Alphabet's winning streak so far in 2015, leaving it up more than 40% year to date and handily outpacing the broader market's modest rise:
So what: This was Alphabet's first earnings report since the Google parent officially implemented an ambitious business reorganization earlier in the month. In part, this reorganization will allow the company to be more transparent in the dealings and specific financials of its increasingly diversified set of businesses, including but not limited to Calico (focused on longevity), Capital and Ventures (two investment arms), Fiber (high-speed Internet), Life Sciences (the folks behind Google's glucose-sensing contact lenses for diabetics), Nest (connected home), and X Lab (which houses the so-called "moonshot" initiatives).
But Alphabet won't begin reporting on its new per-segment basis until its fourth-quarter report. In the meantime, Alphabet revealed hearty 13% year-over-year growth in revenue to $18.68 billion, which resulted in 18.7% growth in adjusted earnings to $5.1 billion, or $7.35 per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting Alphabet to achieve revenue and earnings of only $18.53 billion and $7.21 per share, respectively.
Google's core advertising business still comprised 89.9% of total sales, at $16.8 billion. That included a 16% increase in advertising revenue from Google's own websites to $13.1 billion, which CFO Ruth Porat credited primarily to strength mobile search and increases in YouTube TrueView ads. More specifically, Google is doing an exceptional job improving both ad formats and delivery, Porat says, "to better address how consumers use their mobile devices."
In addition, Porat noted that Google now boasts six products that each have at least 1 billion users: Search, Android, Maps, Chrome, YouTube, and Google Play. Google Play, in particular, only just crossed the massive milestone in the third quarter.
Now what: Beginning in the fourth quarter, Alphabet shareholders will also enjoy the fruits of their company's first-ever significant capital returns program, which came in the form of an authorization to repurchase up to $5,099,019,513.59 in Class C shares. And no, Big G's board didn't pick that strange number at random: 5.09901951359 is the approximate square root of 26, the number of letters in the alphabet.
But arguably even more exciting for Alphabet shareholders will be its impending segment reporting next quarter, with which management promised to provide details for each including revenue, profitability, and capital expenditures.
"By doing this," Porat explained, "we expect you will be able to better understand how we manage the businesses, including the pace and allocation of our investments."
Of course, it's quite possible that increased transparency could bring criticism from shareholders, especially if some have strong opinions about where Alphabet should be placing its long-term-oriented investments. But with shares up big on the heels of this strong quarter in the meantime, it's hard to find anything not to love about this tech titan today.
Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares) and Alphabet (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.