Advertisers continued to pour money into Google at the end of last year but a $9.9 billion tax charge pushed its parent company Alphabet to a loss in the fourth quarter.
Even without the charge, which was linked to the US tax reforms passed late in December, Alphabet’s underlying profit missed Wall Street’s expectations, sending its shares down last night.
Alphabet is a holding company for Google, its largest business, and a smaller division that houses several experimental projects, known as “other bets”. Google, the world’s most popular search engine, makes more money from digital advertising than any other company.
Alphabet reported a fourth-quarter loss of $3 billion compared with a year ago, when it made a profit of $5.3 billion. Without the tax charge the company would have reported a profit of $6.8 billion.
You know, given that it is actually paying tax?