YouTube’s ad revenue for Q1 is a big disappointment; investors sell their Alphabet holdings

Google parent Alphabet released its first-quarter earnings report today. While it didn’t break out revenue from Pixel separately, the phones are inside the category known as Google, Other which took in $6.81 billion during the first quarter of 2022. That was a 5% gain from the $6.50 billion grossed during last year’s Q1. Besides Pixel phones and other hardware, Google, Other includes revenue from the Google Play Store and non-advertising YouTube revenue.

First-quarter ad revenue for Google Search came to $39.62 billion compared to $31.88 billion the year before for a 24% increase. YouTube ads increased 14.4% to $6.87 billion from $6.80 billion on an annual basis. YouTube ad revenue was a huge disappointment as Wall Street was looking for $7.51 billion in revenue. However, Google Network ad revenue had a strong first quarter taking in $8.17 billion. That was a 20.2% hike from the $6.80 billion in advertising revenue it brought in during Q1 of 2021.

For the period from the start of January to the end of March this year, Google generated $61.47 billion in advertising revenue. During the same period in 2021, the amount of ad revenue brought in $44.68 billion for a strong 37.6% increase. Including Google Cloud, currency hedges, and other bets, Google grossed $68.01 billion for the first quarter of 2022 compared to $55.31 billion for Q1 of 2021 (which works out to a 23% hike).

Google, during the first quarter, stopped many of its services in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine. Google also had to pay more to acquire traffic than the $11.69 billion that  Wall Street expected. Traffic Acquisition Costs (TAC) for Q1 of 2022 rose $23.5% to $11.99 billion from the year-earlier $9.71 billion.

Time to buy the Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Q1 saw strong growth in Search and Cloud, in particular, which are both helping people and businesses as the digital transformation continues. We’ll keep investing in great products and services, and creating opportunities for partners and local communities around the world.”

During regular trading hours, Alphabet shares (GOOG-NASDAQ) closed at $2,390.12 for a decline of $74.88 or 3.04%. In after-hours trading, the stock has declined a further $63.37 or 2.65% to $2,326.75.

Next month, starting on May 11th and ending the next day, Google will hold its Google I/O Developer conference. We expect to hear more about Android 13 and we could see two eagerly awaited pieces of hardware: The mid-range Pixel 6a and the long-awaited Google Pixel Watch.

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