Shares of Alphabet Inc. surged 8% in after-hours trade, which would push its market capitalization above that of Apple Inc.'s for the first time, after the company reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The company, which broke out core Google earnings from its "other bets" this quarter, reported earnings of $4.9 billion, or $7.06 a share, compared with $4.6 billion, or $6.79 a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding one-time items, Alphabet reported earnings of $8.67, topping the FactSet consensus estimate of $8.10. Total revenue rose to $21.3 billion, versus $14.5 billion last year, beating expectations of $16.9 billion. Revenue from its core Google business jumped 18% to $21.2 billion.
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