Google, the world’s largest advertising tech business, will try to convince Wall Street later today it’s more than just that.
Investors will eye just how steep the decline is in its cost-per-click of each ad, a proxy for mobile ad health. They'll also look for any shred of insight into YouTube’s growth. And they will look at spending to see if Ruth Porat, the CFO handling her fourth earnings report, can keep her cherished reputation as a fiscal disciplinarian.
Those interested in whether Google is gaining ground on plans to find revenue sources beyond ads should look at two numbers:
- Google’s non-ads stuff: Google still lumps in extraneous sales — its revenue from digital media, enterprise sales and hardware — under "other revenues." It clocked in at $7.18 billion for all of 2015. Citibank recently estimated that half of that comes from its Play store revenue. Google is putting more resources behind that. But its real oomph is in the enterprise, which has the best shot of being its next $10 billion-plus business. The "other revenue" line has grown at about 24 percent annually the past two quarters. If it jumps more — it was $1.63 billion for the second quarter last year — then that may reflect some actual sales growth in its cloud-cum-work-apps unit.
- Moonshot money: Today’s results mark the third quarter since parent conglomerate Alphabet split its reporting into the core Google business and "Other Bets" — those nebulous, ever-morphing non-Google parts. Only three of these units make money: Fiber, its broadband offering; Nest, its drama-filled home device unit; and Verily, its opaque medical arm. (Although, Google execs will probably mention how one of these arms, its AI mercenaries DeepMind, is going to make it loads of money in the cloud business.) These sundry parts are still very tiny next to Google’s search ad business. But we will see one more quarter’s worth of info on what they are producing.
As for the usual quarterly financial metrics: The Street expects core Google to report profit of $8 a share on net sales of $16.9 billion. They are still all taking total crap-shoots on the "Other Bets" figures.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.