May 30, 2024

View of the Google headquarters.

View of the Google headquarters.
Photo: Stella Venohr/picture alliance (Getty Images)

Google parent Alphabet reported a surge in profits of nearly 60% in the first quarter of this year versus the same period a prior year.

“Our results in the first quarter reflect strong performance from search, YouTube, and cloud,” CEO Sundar Pichai said in a company statement Thursday. “We are well underway with our Gemini era and there’s great momentum across the company. Our leadership in AI research and infrastructure, and our global product footprint, position us well for the next wave of AI innovation.”

Alphabet’s share price popped up to 15% to $181 after the bell, a positive sign for investors after the stock sputtered in February and March. The company’s stock has been on a monumental rally over the last year. The Google parent is part of the so-called “Magnificent Seven” big tech stocks. But in a world of ever-evolving Wall Street monikers, critics have left Alphabet off a revamped list of Mag 7 A-listers, the “Fab Four.” Alphabet’s April performance could put it back in the race to rejoin the tech stock top contenders.

Another factor boosting Alphabet’s shares: its first-ever announcement of cash dividends of 20 cents per share to be paid to investors this summer. Alphabet’s sales shot up, too, by 15% to $80.5 billion.

Google has apparently turned the page on early mishaps with its AI chatbot Gemini, or so it tried to convince the world at its Google Cloud Next conference in Las Vegas in early April. The company announced features of a new Gemini model, Gemini Pro 1.5. Goldman Sachs, Mercedes, and Uber are among the early Gemini 1.5 Pro customers, Google said. Google also released a new AI chip as well as an Arm-based CPU to rival those of Microsoft, Amazon, and Nvidia.

One thing Google didn’t mention Thursday was its recent controversial firing of more than 50 employees who participated in in-office protests over its $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government. No Tech for Apartheid, an activist group that represents the employees, called the firings “shameful.”

“The corporation is attempting to quash dissent, silence its workers and reassert its power over them,” Jane Chung, a spokesperson for No Tech for Apartheid, told The Washington Post.

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