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Alphabet Still Believes in Its Experimental Businesses

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Alphabet’s Other Bets missed analysts’ expectations

Alphabet’s (GOOG) Other Bets segment, which includes the company’s efforts in developing advanced technology with ventures such as its autonomous vehicle arm, Waymo, its health venture, Verily, and Fiber, generated revenue of $154 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, a rise of 17.6% YoY (year-over-year). This figure was much lower than analysts’ consensus estimate of $187.4 million.

Alphabet continues to believe in and invest heavily in these businesses. The Other Bets segment saw an operating loss of $1.33 billion in the fourth quarter, much higher than its operating loss of $748 million in the corresponding period last year.

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Alphabet continues to invest in Other Bets

For the whole of 2018, the Other Bets segment posted an operating loss of $3.36 billion compared to its operating loss of $2.73 billion in 2017.

The company hasn’t divulged much in terms of Other Bets details, but it’s clear that it’s investing a lot in its autonomous vehicle arm.

Waymo disclosed in October that it had completed a whopping 10 million miles of testing for its autonomous vehicle technology. However, it’s still not clear when Waymo will be launching its robo-taxi business.

Alphabet’s balance sheet remains strong, meaning that the company can afford to invest in Other Bets as it seeks to find another business as successful as its ad business.

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