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Alphabet's experiments still lose money, but it's getting better

Revenues for Alphabet's stranger companies are slowly increasing.
Alphabet's experiments still lose money, but it's getting better
Nathan Ingraham
Nathan Ingraham|October 27, 2016 4:32 PM

Alphabet, semi-new parent company to the Google we all know and love/tolerate, continues to rake in money hand-over-fist. The company just released its financial statements for Q3 of 2016, and both revenue and overall profit continues to soar. All companies under the Alphabet umbrella pulled in $22.5 billion in the quarter (up 20 percent year over year), and net income rose 27 percent to $5.1 billion.

Unsurprisingly, nearly all of that revenue continues to come from Google: Alphabet's more experimental "other bets" companies only brought in $197 million in revenue, while losing $865 million of profit. As usual, Google's ad business brought in the majority of the cash, and the company once again cited strength in mobile and video as a source of growth.

However, there are a few bright spots for "other bets," which as a reminder includes companies like Verily, the ailing Google Fiber, Google X, the company's self-driving cars team, the Ventures investment group, Nest, Calico and a number of others. Revenue for those other bets increased 40 percent year over year, and the net loss shrunk to $865 million this quarter from $980 million a year ago. That's still far more than the revenue it brought in, but at least both of those figures are moving in the right direction. CFO Ruth Porat said most of the revenue was generated by Fiber, Verily and Nest.

Google's "other revenues" also increased to $2.4 billion -- that's notable because the category includes Google's hardware products and Google Play. With the new Pixel handsets, Daydream VR and Google Home all hitting the market this month, that number could go up significantly. But it's notable that revenues from that category continued climbing last quarter, when a lot of Google's hardware was getting old. Of course, Google Play never goes out of style. Indeed, Porat did note on today's call that the growth was primarily driven by Google Play and Cloud services like Drive and Google Apps.

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Alphabet is holding an earnings call in just a few minutes. We'll update this post with anything notable that comes from it.

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Alphabet's experiments still lose money, but it's getting better