Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG), parent company of Google, recently put a date on its third-quarter earnings release. The company will report its results for the quarter on Thursday, Oct. 26, after market close.
Ahead of Alphabet's third-quarter report, here's an early look at three areas investors may want to check in on after the update: revenue growth, Alphabet's "Google other" segment, and its "other bets" segment.
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For Alphabet's third quarter, analysts' consensus estimate for revenue is $27.2 billion. This compares to revenue of $22.5 billion in the year-ago quarter, representing about a 21% increase.
The analysts' consensus estimate seems well founded, given that Alphabet's revenue in its second quarter was similarly up 21% year over year.
Alphabet's strong revenue growth recently continues to demonstrate the search giant's ability to consistently grow its business at heady rates. In its second quarter, management said its solid top line was primarily driven by strong Google advertising revenue growth in mobile search and on YouTube. Alphabet's Google advertising revenue accounts for 87% of Alphabet's total revenue. The segment revenue was up 18% year over year.
Investors should look for strong advertising growth to similarly help drive Alphabet's top line in Q3.
Alphabet's "Google other" segment
Made up primarily of revenue from the Android app store, Google-branded hardware, and cloud services, Alphabet's "Google other" segment is becoming increasingly important to the company's results. In Alphabet's second quarter, other revenue was up 42% year over year. Further, other revenue accounted for a notable 12% of second-quarter revenue, up from 10% in the year-ago quarter.
Can Alphabet's Google other segment keep up this strong growth in Q3?
Alphabet's "Other bets" segment
Not to be consumed with Google other revenue, which falls under the company's Google reporting segment, Alphabet's "other bets" segment represents a much smaller portion of the company. It's where Alphabet files its "moonshot" projects like Nest, Verily, Fiber, and its self-driving car company Waymo.
In Alphabet's second quarter, other-bets revenue represented only a fraction of the company's total top line -- at less than 1%. The segment is growing rapidly. Second-quarter other-bets revenue climbed 34% year over year.
But it's not the growth of Alphabet's other bets segment that investors should be keeping an eye on. Rather, investors should be watching how quickly Alphabet can reduce the segment's massive operating losses. In Alphabet's second quarter, other bets' operating loss was $772 million, weighing meaningfully on overall profitability.
Fortunately, Alphabet has made progress recently on improving its other bets operating losses. In Alphabet's second quarter, other bets $772 million operating loss was narrower than the segment's $855 million operating loss in the year-ago quarter. Further, Alphabet's other bets operating losses are improving rapidly on a sequential basis lately, narrowing from $1.088 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $855 million in the first quarter of 2017.
Investors should look for Alphabet's other bets operating loss to continue to improve on both a year-over-year and sequential basis in Q3.
Overall, investors should look for Alphabet's results to continue highlighting the strength of its search business while also showing promising signs in its smaller segments.
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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares) and Alphabet (C shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.