On The Fly: What to watch in Alphabet earnings report
Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), the parent company of Google, is scheduled to report results of its second fiscal quarter after the market close on Monday, July 24, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. What to watch for: 1. EU ISSUES: In her preview of Alphabet's earnings report, ReCode's Tess Townsend called the $2.74B fine from European regulators, and its future implications, the "elephant in the room" that will draw a fair amount of scrutiny and questioning from analysts. In addition to the fine for unfairly favoring its own shopping service, EU antitrust regulators are also considering a record fine against Google over its Android mobile operating system, and yet another case over its AdSense for Search platform. In recent notes to investors, Needham analyst Kerry Rice and Piper Jaffray analyst Samuel Kemp offered their views on how the fines will impact the company's near-term and long-term results. Rice estimates the EU fine reduces Alphabet's EPS by about $3.90/share, though he expects Alphabet to post results at least in-line with his estimates. After reviewing the European Competitive Commission's charges and ongoing cases against Google, Piper's Kemp believes further fines and operational restrictions are likely but that the long-term financial impact should be minimal. The recent ECC charges regarding Google Shopping and the implications of its precedent for the rest of search are unlikely to cause more than 200 basis points of gross revenue headwind, Kemp told investors. The analyst added, however, that the potential upcoming Android charges may add $7B-$12B in new fines, or $10-$17 per share, before the end of the year. 2. YOUTUBE RECOVERY: In a blog post on June 22, YouTube detailed a number of announcements made at its VidCon event, including that 1.5B logged in viewers now visit YouTube every single month. "On average, our viewers spend over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone," the company added. On its recently-launched YouTube TV service, the company said it will be expanding to ten more markets in "just a couple of weeks." In the lead-up to the company's last earnings report, YouTube was in focus after several companies pulled their ad spending on the service over concerns that their ads may have run alongside controversial videos. However, several analysts have pointed to signs they've been seeing of a bounceback for YouTube. 3. 'STRONG' AD TRENDS: MKM Partners analyst Rob Sanderson recently said that anecdotal evidence from ad agencies suggests that demand trends for digital advertising generally, and for Alphabet in particular, remain strong. Concerns around YouTube have quieted down "considerably," added Sanderson, who keeps a Buy rating on Google's parent ahead of its earnings report. Earlier in the month, Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju also said that his conversations with advertisers during Q2 suggest ongoing strength in budget deployment across search and YouTube based on an ongoing ramp in mobile search traffic, location based targeting, and rotation of YouTube budgets out of Q1 and into Q2. As a result, Ju increased his YouTube growth estimate for Q2 to 31% from 21% and reiterated an Outperform rating on Alphabet Class A shares.