Google parent Alphabet Inc on Tuesday reported record profit for the second consecutive quarter and a $50 billion share buyback but warned a surge in usage and ad sales during the pandemic may slow as people resume in-person activities.
With online consumer activity remaining elevated in the first quarter, Alphabet beat analysts’ revenue estimates and nearly surpassed the sales record it set in the fourth quarter.
Google ad sales jumped 32% in the first quarter compared with a year ago, above expectations of analysts tracked by Refinitiv. Cloud sales increased 45.7%, in line with estimates.
Alphabet shares rose about 4.3% to $2,390.10 in extended trading.
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The results provided the first sign that Google services such as search and YouTube may hold on to gains made since lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions forced people to shop and communicate online over the last year.
About 17% of people in the United States, Alphabet’s top region by revenue, were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the first quarter. Activities including in-person dining resumed in big cities in March, and security screenings at U.S. airports had their busiest day in a year.
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But Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat told analysts on Tuesday, “it’s too early to forecast the extent to which these changes in consumer behavior and advertising spend will endure.”
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