Google’s second-quarter results are in, revealing a slight beat on Wall Street expectations, though it wasn’t enough to save the company from its first revenue decline since going public. Alphabet(parent company of Google) shares were barely changed at $1,552, above their pre-pandemic high, after it said revenue fell 2% in the second quarter, less than analysts’ estimate of a 4% decline. But the company faces challenges across all those fronts. New data privacy laws, including one that went into effect this month in Google’s home state of California, are depressing ad prices.
Alphabet, whose ad sales account for about 78% of its revenue, has struggled during past economic slowdowns, as marketing is often the first budget item to get slashed. But Google and its online advertising rivals Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc on Thursday all reported better results in the pandemic than in past recessions.
“We saw the early signs of stabilization as users returned to commercial activity online.” Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told analysts during a conference call on Thursday.