Alphabet is on cruise – on Monday, the company reported its fourth quarter earnings and as a result it toppled Apple to become the most valuable company in the world. The report highlighted the robust growth of the digital ad market of Alphabet. On the other hand, Apple’s iPhone is suffering its first downturn since its debut eight years ago and the company’s stock is sliding because of that. Alphabet’s stock has surged by 45 percent since the end of 2014 when it was still trading under Google’s name.
Apple has always been at the top since 2010 as the most valuable technology company dethroning Microsoft. Apple has more than doubled in value since then, and passed Exxon Mobil to become the world’s most valuable company in any industry.
Alphabet made a profit of $4.9 billion (£3.4 billion) for the fourth quarter, an increase from $4.7 billion a year ago. The announcement sent its share price up as much as 9% in after-hours trading. Alphabet is now worth around $568 billion, compared with Apple, which has a value of $535 billion.
The optimism surrounding Alphabet stems in part from hopes that the company is developing more financial discipline as it discloses more earnings details. Google had become known for its free-spending habits and reluctance to share information with analysts. The big gain for the company was advertising. All important paid-for clicks - where advertisers pay per person who clicks on the ad - were up 31% across the entire internet, and 40% on Google-owned sites. The change in sentiment coincided with Google’s hiring of a new chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, last May.