Google's quarterly profit soars again as ad sales continue to grow

Third-quarter profit and revenue both rise again and beat analysts' expectations.

Bree Fowler Senior Writer
Bree Fowler writes about cybersecurity and digital privacy. Before joining CNET she reported for The Associated Press and Consumer Reports. A Michigan native, she's a long-suffering Detroit sports fan, world traveler, wannabe runner and champion baker of over-the-top birthday cakes and all-things sourdough.
Expertise cybersecurity, digital privacy, IoT, consumer tech, smartphones, wearables
Bree Fowler
2 min read

Google posted better-than-expected quarterly results.

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Google on Tuesday posted another big jump in quarterly profit buoyed by sales at the search and advertising businesses, the same businesses that have attracted antitrust attention.

Alphabet, the company that owns Google, posted a third-quarter profit of $18.94 billion, or $27.99 per share, up almost 70% from $11.25 billion, or $16.40 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 41% to $65.12 billion. Both figures beat beat analysts' estimates of $23.47 in earnings per share and $63.45 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo.

"Search is the heart of what we do," Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said on a call with analysts after the results' release. For the quarter, revenue at that business jumped 44% to $37.93 billion. 

The strong performance comes even as Google faces continued government and regulatory scrutiny. The company currently faces several major antitrust lawsuits, including a landmark case by the US Department of Justice and two complaints from bipartisan coalitions of states. Regulators and prosecutors are investigating everything from Google's app store to broader business practices around its Android operating system, which continues to reign as the most dominant mobile software platform in the world.

Lawmakers, however, have focused on Google's dominance in web search and digital advertising. The company processes around 90% of all online searches in the US, market dominance that is the foundation of its massive advertising business. The advertising business, in turn, generates almost all of the company's sales

In addition to the jump in search revenue, the Mountain View, California-based tech titan said sales from YouTube ads grew 43% to $7.21 billion. Sales at its Google Cloud businesswhich rents server space and artificial intelligence technology to other companies and organizations, increased 45% to $4.99 billion as it shrunk its losses. 

The performance didn't move the company's stock price much. In aftermarket trading, Alphabet shares edged down less than 1%.