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Author: Alan LittleDate: 2021-04-29

Alphabet (GOOGL) +4%, Microsoft (MSFT) -2% as investors react to Q1 reports

Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) shares jumped 4.40% in midweek after its Q1 earnings blew past the Wall Street consensus, but Microsoft (MSFT) fell 2.45% after its own beats failed to excite demanding investors. 


Early on Wednesday, Alphabet posted a colossal $26.29 earnings per share for the first three months of 2021, compared with $9.87 a year ago, which was easily above the $15.81 forecast. 


Revenue also rose by more than $11bn year over year to $55.31bn versus the $51.50bn expectations, as a surge in online consumer activity and its strength in advertising boosted its top line. 


CFO Ruth Porat noted an “ongoing momentum” in Google Cloud, which delivered revenue of $4.05bn, up from $2.8bn a year ago. 


Services revenue also pivoted higher from $38.2bn to $51.2bn, while ads on YouTube brought in $6.01bn compared to $4.04bn back in Q1 2021. 


CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement: “We’ve continued our focus on delivering trusted services to help people around the world. Our Cloud services are helping businesses, big and small, accelerate their digital transformations. 


Analysts were also impressed as Barclays added $500 to a new $3,000 price target and reiterated an overweight rating, while Evercore went from $2,525 to $2,825 and an outperform rating.  


Alphabet shares rose early on the Nasdaq on Wednesday and were up around 4.28% at $2,388.94 by late afternoon. 


It was a slightly different story for Microsoft after the tech giant posted $1.95 earnings and $41.7bn revenue versus the $1.77 and $40.83bn expectations. 


This makes it nine straight quarters of beats, but Jefferies analysts Brent Thill and Joseph Gallo said that “expectations were just higher”, while BMO Capital Markets’ Keith Bachman offered a “good but not great” analysis. 


MSFT shares fell after the first bell and were down 2.43% at $255.60 around an hour before markets closed. 

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