Sundar Pichai Takes Over as Alphabet CEO


You may have noticed that we do not devote much time to profiling the CEOs of the companies that we hold in Vestact portfolios. It's not that company management are unimportant. A good strategy is developed and implemented by a talented team, and sound decision making is crucial for modern multi-national corporations. Conversely, a rotten manager can do a lot of damage.


Alphabet Q3 - Tax Hits Profits


We are in the middle of US earnings season now, and last night Google was out with its results. The holding company is actually called Alphabet, but its share codes are GOOG and GOOGL, so I just call them Google. The company has a market value of $894 billion and was founded in September 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Its headquarters are in Mountain View, California. Sundar Pichai has been the CEO since Oct 2015.


Alphabet Should Buy Twitter


Apparently Google made $4.7bn from the News Industry in 2018. As you know, Google sells advertising space on the internet. As you may also know, most people read their news online these days. Advertising in Newspapers a few decades ago was thriving, but today, Google owns a huge chunk of that market. Although this is only a corner of the market where Google operates, it is big and influential.


Google Back In Regulator Sights


According to CNBC, the US Department of Justice is reportedly preparing an antitrust investigation against Google. Google controls more than 70% of the global search engine market, and it allegedly used its market dominance in order to generate north of $136 billion in revenues last year for its mother company Alphabet.


Google Adds Trips


So many trips are booked using Google. That is why pay Google millions to be top of the search results. Booking has become big enough that users now go straight to their website. This is of course good for Booking and bad for Google. That is why Google has created a landing page exclusively for booking trips. And guess what, it is called Trips.


Alphabet Q1 - Other Gets Bigger


Google reported numbers on Monday which disappointed the market. Revenues came in at $36.34bn vs consensus of $37.3bn. This showed a growth rate of 19%. Excluding the once-off EU fine, net income was $8.3bn which equates to $11.9 a share. The below image shows where Google makes their money.


Google Monetises Maps


I must say, Google maps and Waze are incredible products that have improved lives around the globe. Just think of all the petrol saved because people have avoided getting lost or bypassed a traffic jam. Think of all the interviews, meetings and events that were reached on time because the commuter took the most direct route. It has also helped tourists navigate through new cities, countries and even continents. These maps have really made the world a more efficient place.


Google Launches Stadia


Whoa, this is huge from Google. Last night was the official launch of Google's online gaming platform, Stadia. It is well worth spending 3 minutes to watch this video, it gives you an excellent idea of how powerful this new platform will be and how it is going to change the gaming landscape - Google Stadia announced at GDC 2019.


Alphabet Q4 numbers - Capex Spend is Higher


Monday after the market's close, Alphabet reported a very strong set of numbers, but which weren't really cheered by Mr market. Mr market was concerned about the CapEx expenditure put towards enhancing technical infrastructure, Google's cloud business and YouTube, which in turn has compromised margins.


Alphabets 2018 Research Overview


How are those New Year resolutions coming along? Part of setting goals is to see what we have already accomplished. Last week Google wrote about their research achievements last year, Looking Back at Google's Research Efforts in 2018


Google CEO goes to Congress


Google CEO Sundar Pichai was testifying before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday on Capitol Hill. I am concerned about how little the US representatives knew about what Google does or how it works, and their basic understanding of day-to-day tech like our cellphones for example.


Alphabet launches first driverless car service


Alphabet (Google) makes so much money that they have the luxury of creating a completely separate division which allows very smart people to invent cool things. One day, one of those inventions is going to make it big. These inventions are trying to solve problems so it will most likely improve our lives at the same time.


Alphabet Q3 - Missed estimates


We are in the thick of US earnings season now, and next on the list was Google, out after the closing bell on Wall Street last night. The holding company is actually called Alphabet, but the share code is GOOGL, so that's that.


Google teaming up with Tencent


For many US tech companies China is the final frontier. Mostly because it has been completely out of bounds. Companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook have very little to do in China because they have been blocked from operating there. This is partly why Trump is taking the Chinese on with these trade wars.


Alphabet 2Q - costs under control


Have you ever tried searching for something on a website and then get frustrated because the search function cannot predict what you are thinking? Google has done that to you. The Google search function is so fantastic that searching for anything that is not supported by Google is incredibly frustrating.


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