Friday, February 19, 2016

Alphabet to Surpass Apple as "World's Most Valuable Company"

For years, Google Inc. was always known for its internet/computer science businesses, including its online search database, maps, advertising platform, YouTube, Android, and more. In recent years, Google began investing more and more time, effort, and money in other kinds of technologies. From healthcare devices to drones to self-driving cars, Google has had its hand in many types of technological innovations. Unfortunately, that led to a somewhat unwieldy business model, in which every product/ technological focus was grouped under the single title of "Google." Paresh Dave and Andrea Chang discuss in their L.A. Times article how Google recently underwent a business shift and created a new corporation, Alphabet Inc., within which several subgroups focus on different realms of Google's technological goals.

Not only has the creation of Alphabet Inc. made the business more structured, it also has generated plenty of investor interest. In fact, according to Dave and Chang, Alphabet Inc. is well on its way toward claiming the position of "world's most valuable company" from competitor Apple Inc. In the fourth quarter, Alphabet showed that profit had grown by double-digits, and proved to investors and the world that projects like self-driving cars and virtual reality glasses were not wasting resources, but instead earning revenue. Where analysts expected Alphabet to earn $16.9 billion, the company surprised everyone by reporting $21.3 billion in revenue, an improvement of 18% over the course of two years.

Last summer, when Google first began changing to the Alphabet structure, the company aimed to separate online ventures from those involving physical technological innovations. Each of the individual units of Alphabet is designed to have flexibility over its own budget and operations, but in the end, Alphabet itself will keep watch over each sub-business and make the major business decisions. Certain ventures labeled as "Other Bets," which include YouTube and smart-thermostat maker Nest, had a loss of over $3 billion in 2015, which was to be expected, according to Alphabet's analysts. Loss is expected during the R&D stage of technological innovation, but executives believe that the loss is at an acceptable level based on predictions of future revenue.

Alphabet's momentum seems almost unstoppable. In the past year alone, Alphabet's stocks have risen more than 40% in total. On the other hand, Alphabet's major competitor, Apple, is having plenty of problems that have led their stock values to fall. As mentioned previously, much of Apple's recent troubles have been closely linked to the company's reliance on a single product: the iPhone. Since iPhone sales have gone down, Apple's stocks have taken a plunge. Alphabet's new business model will help to reduce the chances of a similar situation taking place, since the variety of sub-businesses means that even if one sub-business has trouble, it will have little effect on the company as a whole.

Overall, economic analysts believe that Alphabet will keep improving and that its stock prices will continue to increase. Executives have seen continuous increases in the number of users of Gmail and the Google Play Store. They also expect that advertisements on Google and YouTube will be very important for Alphabet's future revenue. Since Alphabet's creation, revenue rose nearly 14% and profit for the year rose by 16%. In the past year, Alphabet also added over 8,200 new employees. As you can see, Alphabet seems very confident about the company's future growth and is planning accordingly.

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