2021 was not the friendliest of years for most businesses. But tech, and digital tech in general, shored up numbers, brighter than ever before. While product giants, such as Apple, faced global semiconductor shortage, and supply chain disruptions, companies such as Facebook and Google, fared better than ever. And after Facebook’s impressive show, the same is now evident from Google-parent Alphabet’s earnings in the final quarter of 2021.
The behemoth clocked an impressive $75.32 billion in revenue in Q4 2021, a year-over-year increase of 32% and exceeding estimates of $72.17 billion. For the entire year, Google clocked $257.63 billion in revenue, a year-over-year increase of 41%.
According to Ruth Porat, CFO, Alphabet and Google, the growth of its quarterly revenue reflected broad-based strength in advertiser expenditure and strong consumer online activity, as well as substantial ongoing revenue growth from Google Cloud.
Google also exceeded analyst expectations when it came to earnings per share (EPS) – $30.69 against estimates of $27.34. For the entire year, its EPS amounted to $112.20. Its operating income for the quarter grew to $21.88 billion and $78.71 billion for 2021, while its operating margin for the quarter and the year came at 29% and 31% respectively. Its net income was $20.64 billion for Q4 2021 and $76 billion for 2021 as a whole.
For those of you looking to do some number crunching, here is a snapshot for the company as a whole:
Alphabet added that its board had approved a 20-for-1 stock split in the form of a one-time special stock dividend on each share of the Company’s Class A, Class B, and Class C stock. The idea is to make the stock more accessible for small-time retail investors, whose numbers have swelled up during pandemic, as they look for alternate sources of income. Alphabet’s stock as in the higher four figures (in USD), making it virtually impossible for retail investors to own the stock in mass. Of course, this serves the company’s own purpose as well, as more investors would mean a more accelerated advance to the $3Tn market cap.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, said: “Our deep investment in AI technologies continues to drive extraordinary and helpful experiences for people and businesses, across our most important products. Q4 saw ongoing strong growth in our advertising business, which helped millions of businesses thrive and find new customers, a quarterly sales record for our Pixel phones despite supply constraints, and our Cloud business continuing to grow strongly.”
Let us see how the different segments of Google fared. Revenue from Google Search and other services amounted to $43.30 billion for Q4 2021, while revenue from Google Cloud amounted to $5.54 billion. YouTube advertising revenue came at $8.63 billion (the only segment that did not exceed estimates). Its Other Bets segment generated $181 million in revenue.
Combining revenue from Google Search and other, YouTube ads, and Google Network, Google Advertising generated $61.24 billion for the quarter, an increase of 33%. Its operating loss in Google cloud was $890 million in Q4 2021, while total income from operations came at $21.88 billion. Its Traffic Acquisition Cost (TAC) amounted to $13.4 billion in the winter quarter.