Google parent company Alphabet sees its first revenue decline in history


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google parent company Alphabet warned in last quarter that it was expecting to see the impact of coronavirus in the second quarter results, and it was: the company saw its first revenue decline in its history. But it managed to beat Wall Street’s revenue expectations.

Total revenue for the quarter was $38.3 billion, versus the $37.4 billion expected, but that marks a 2 percent decline from the second quarter of 2019. Net income dropped from $9.9 billion a year ago, to $6.9 billion. Revenue for Search was $21.3 billion, down from $23.6 billion.

One bright spot was YouTube, where advertising revenue rose from $3.6 billion last year, to $3.81 billion this year. Google’s Cloud division saw rising revenue as well.

“We continue to navigate through a difficult global environment,” CFO Ruth Porat said in a statement announcing the earnings.

Revenue for Alphabet’s Other Bets category — which includes its experimental X lab, Waymo self-driving subsidiary, and a number of other divisions like its Verily life sciences unit was down, from $162 million to $148 million. Other Bets saw an operating loss of $1.12 billion.

Google “other revenues,” which includes its hardware, Play Store, and non-advertising YouTube revenues — reported $5.12 billion, up from $4 billion.


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