Google parent Alphabet loses $70B in market value after weak results

Google parent Alphabet lost roughly $70 billion in market value in intraday trading on Tuesday after reporting signs of slowing revenue growth, especially in its critical digital advertising business.

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The tech giant said Google’s online advertising revenue rose 15 percent to $30.72 billion, marking its slowest rate of growth in the last three years and falling short of Wall Street’s expectations. The disappointing result came amid intense competition in the advertising business from the likes of Facebook and Amazon, tech rivals that each reported strong quarterly results in recent days.

Alphabet shares fell by as much as 8.6 percent on Tuesday after reporting quarterly results and were down about 8 percent as of 3 p.m. ET. At one point, the company’s market capitalization sank below $822 billion, a decline of roughly $75 billion, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

By comparison, Disney paid roughly $71 billion to acquire 21st Century Fox film and television assets in a massive transaction that closed earlier this year.

Alphabet executives attributed the slowdown in part to particularly strong results in 2018 and changes at YouTube, which saw a decline in click-through growth rate on its platform. But a lack of firm details on the weaker-than-expected results led at least one Wall Street firm to call out the company.

Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak said Google’s “deceleration and uncertain forward trajectory highlight the need for better transparency” in how it reports results.

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Alphabet said its first-quarter revenue grew 17 percent to $36.34 billion, below expectations. The company reported earnings per share of $11.90, excluding a $1.7 billion fine to settle an inquiry from European regulators.