February 28, 2024

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai at 2020 World Economic Forum

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai touts company’s AI ambitions on a Tuesday call with investors.
Image: Denis Balibouse (Reuters)

Despite Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, reporting strong quarterly revenue and profit on Tuesday, the search engine and online ad giant remains focused on cutting costs.

“We remain committed to our work to durably re-engineer our cost base as we invest to support our growth opportunities,” Alphabet president Ruth Porat said in the company’s latest quarterly earnings report.

Alphabet’s profit skyrocketed 52% in in the three months ended Dec. 31 to nearly $21 billion from $14 billion in the same period the prior year. The company’s revenue was up 13% year-over-year to $86.3 billion in its fourth quarter, from $76 billion. Its earnings per share came to $1.64, outperforming Wall Street expectations of $1.60, according to a consensus estimate from analysts surveyed by Zack Investment Research.

But that wasn’t enough to keep the company from cutting jobs early this year.

Throughout 2023, the company slashed its workforce by about 4% or 8,000 jobs, according to the report. A new round of cuts occurred this month when the tech company laid off hundreds of workers at YouTube and its advertising sales team.

“Across different teams, we have wound down some non-priority projects, which will help us invest and operate well in our growth areas,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in a call with investors on Tuesday.

The savings resulting from these cuts and reductions in office space are set to be funneled to Alphabet’s AI ambitions.

On Tuesday’s investors call, Pichai listed the various way Alphabet is working to implement its recently launched generative AI model Gemini in various of its products including its search engine and Android phones.

Alphabet’s stock plunged 5.5% in after hours trading following the company’s announcement, to $144.5 per share.

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