With feelers in businesses from videos to autos, it may be no surprise that Alphabet, the holding company behind Google, managed to post better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. What surprised some is the main reason why.
"Revenue growth in Q4 underscored the strength of our businesses globally, with consolidated revenue growth accelerating meaningfully versus last year," said Ruth Porat, Alphabet's chief financial officer, on an investor conference call. "The primary driver was increased use of mobile search by consumers, benefiting from our ongoing efforts to enhance the efficacy of mobile search."
Not only are Google's sales still driven by its hallmark search function, but by mobile search — an area where Google was thought to be losing ground as consumers move from browsers to searching within apps.
So did Wall Street underestimate Alphabet?