Alphabet Inc easily beat Wall Street's quarterly profit forecasts, helped by strong mobile advertising sales, sending the shares of Google's parent higher in after-hours trading to surpass Apple Inc as the most valuable U.S. company. David Pollard reports.
Entering a search term about yourself is called ego- or vanity-surfing - Google might just have an excuse for it. The search engine's parent, Alphabet, is now the biggest company in the world. A late 5% surge in its share price on Wall Street put it ahead of Apple in terms of market cap. Investors delighted at quarterly numbers that beat expectations for its core areas like search and ads. And despite sharp losses in its non-core activities, their so-called 'Other Bets', many are also excited at the future. Simon Smith of FXPro. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FXPRO, HEAD OF RESEARCH, SIMON SMITH, SAYING: ''They're at a relatively young stage of the cycle, so in terms of putting of what they're doing in terms of search and artificial intelligence and machine learning into other areas, that's the big growth area for the next five to ten years that will transform many economies and also labour markets. And they're at the cutting edge of that." The company made a $4.9 billion profit for the fourth quarter, up from 4.7 billion a year ago. For the first time, it disclosed the profitability of its search engine and online services, and how much it's spending on tech projects such as self-driving cars. Its other numbers have been less well received in recent weeks - the internet giant faces growing controversy over its tax affairs in Europe. This latest news though, most definitely a red-letter day for Alphabet.