Alphabet, the Google parent company, beat estimates for the fourth quarter in 2020 thanks to strong ad spending over the holiday period.
According to IBES data from Refinitiv, analysts expected revenues to come in at $53.13bn. Alphabet beat this and reported revenues of $56.9bn.
The Alphabet advertising business, including YouTube, saw sales rise by 23% on a year ago. They now account for 81% of total sales.
Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, said in a call: “YouTube continues, in our view, to be amazing for brand advertisers. Our brand business was hit hard in the early stages of the pandemic, but rebounded in Q3 and into Q4. It really helps advertisers reach a younger audience.”
“We now reach more 18 to 49 year olds than all linear TV networks combined. Our direct-response business on YouTube was practically non-existent three years ago. Now, it’s one of our largest and fastest-growing ad offerings on YouTube,” he added.
The strong results from Alphabet come when growth had slowed at the beginning of the pandemic. Haris Anwar, senior analyst at Investing.com, commented: “A stay-at-home holiday shopping season and a continuing ad rebound from the beginning of the pandemic has helped Google to post a strong fourth quarter. This robust turnaround in business should divert investors’ attention for the time being.”
Shares in Alphabet rose over 7% in after hours trading following the group’s earnings report.