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Alphabet Will Continue To Innovate And Grow

After an exceptional run last year, can Google’s parent company Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) stock again outperform its big tech peers and the broader market?

Logo of Alphabet (GOOGL) website displayed on the screen of the mobile device. alphabet logo visible on display of modern smartphone on white
Source: turbaliska / Shutterstock.com

It’s a fair question to ask given that GOOGL stock has risen about 60% in the past 12-months to now trade at $2,771.74.

Among large capitalization tech stocks, Alphabet was king in 2021, outperforming the companies it is most closely measured against such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Meta (NASDAQ:FB).

However, most of Alphabet’s gains came in the first half of last year. Over the last six months, the company’s share price has only risen 10%. And the stock has actually pulled back nearly 5% since the start of December. This has led some analysts to wonder aloud if there was any gas left in Alphabet’s tank as we entered a new year.

I sure think so. Here’s why.

GOOGL Stock is Pandemic Proof

Part of the reason for Mountain View, California-based Alphabet’s success over the past year is that the company’s diverse range of digital products and services has proven to be pandemic proof. Consumers and businesses have continued to search Google, watch YouTube videos, and rely on its mobile documents and maps throughout the global health crisis. Plus, the remote work trend has enabled Google to rapidly expand its cloud infrastructure unit as more and more businesses rely on the cloud to meet their storage capacity and work sharing needs.

It has all helped Google grow from a company that had a $1 trillion market capitalization in 2020 to nearly $2 trillion today.

According to the Pew Research Center, YouTube was the fastest growing social media app among Americans during the pandemic.

Alphabet’s revenue last year grew at its fastest clip since 2007, driven by a rebound in online advertisements. However, the company’s revenue growth got a big assist from the cloud division that climbed 45% to $4.99 billion in the third quarter alone. The cloud unit’s operating loss was effectively halved to $644 million from $1.21 billion in the third quarter of 2021. Google’s cloud platform is now the third largest after Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, and continues to gain market share.

Advertising Remains Key

You can’t talk about Alphabet’s results without focusing on its main revenue driver — online advertisements, which have held up incredibly well in a challenging environment.

In last year’s third quarter, Alphabet reported a 43% increase in its total advertising revenue to $53.1 billion. Ad sales on YouTube in the quarter topped $7 billion for the first time. And while other advertising driven businesses such as Facebook have been hurt by recent privacy changes to Apple’s iOS system, Google has managed to weather the storm due to its control over the Android operating system and comparative lack of reliance on Apple products.

It is the resiliency of the Google Ad Unit that enables Alphabet to experiment with new technologies through its “Other Bets” division.

These other bets include a long gestating self-driving car project, the Nest smart home assistant, and various wearable tech products. Of course, not all of the new projects in development succeed or even see the light of day. Yet, Alphabet is able to keep swinging for the fences because of the huge amount of cash it generates from online ad sales. Revenue growth is expected come in at about 17%, close to 2019 levels, this year. Still healthy, but not the blistering pace seen in 2021.

Bet On GOOGL Stock’s Long-Term Prospects

While Alphabet may not repeat the amazing growth it had over the last year, the company continues to be a leading technology innovator that holds an outsized competitive advantage. When it comes to online search and advertisements, Google is it. YouTube is one of the world’s most successful social media apps. Google cloud is gaining ground on its competitors. And it likely won’t be long before Alphabet comes up with its next brilliant idea.

Add it all up and Alphabet remains a reliable technology stock for investors to profit from long-term. GOOGL stock is a buy.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held long positions in GOOGL and MSFT. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia. 

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2022/01/googl-stock-alphabet-will-continue-to-innovate-and-grow/.

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