Alphabet's earnings growth
Shares in Alphabet, Google's parent company, hit a 52-week high in early trading on Wednesday after the company reported a jump in profits and a 34% rise in revenues.
Alphabet (GOOGL, GOOG) reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2021 on Tuesday after the close of trading, with shares reacting with gains and a number of investment company analysts raising their target prices for the stock.
The online advertising giant posted a profit of $17.93 billion in just three months, more than triple the $6.84 billion the company earned a year ago.
Earnings per share jumped to $26.29 from last year's figure of $9.87 and well above analysts' estimates of $15.82.
Alphabet's quarterly revenue rose 34% to $55.31 billion, also above average analyst expectations of $51.5 billion.
Google's advertising sales jumped 32% year-on-year giving an optimistic signal to investors. Analysts pointed to a recovery in ad spending by companies in the travel, airline, restaurant and entertainment industries as more quarantine restrictions are lifted and economies recover.
The company highlighted the rapid growth of YouTube, with the world's largest video platform generating $6.01 billion in revenue, up 49 percent from the previous year, against estimates of $5.7 billion.
Sales of its Google Cloud division also posted a bigger increase of 45.7%, rising to $4.05bn, slightly below analysts' expectations of $4.07bn. Google and Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said: "We are very pleased with the continued development of Google Cloud".
Alphabet also announced a massive $50bn share buyback programme.