Google parent company Alphabet has beaten Wall Street expectations for its fourth quarter earnings – although its stock slid in after-hours trading. 

In results that were described by one financial newspaper as showing “sustained revenue growth”, Alphabet reported a profit of $8.9bn on revenue of $39.3bn.

This represented a growth in revenue of more than 21 per cent from the $32.3bn it reported last year.

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The Associated Press said analysts polled by FactSet, were expecting earnings per share of $10.86, or a profit of $7.6bn, on revenue of $38.9bn. 

It said Alphabet’s advertising commissions, or the money it pays other companies to direct people to its search, grew to $7.4bn from $6.5bn a year ago. 

Alphabet’s stock price dropped roughly 3 percent despite the results, in after-market trading on Monday. 

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The AP said concerns over slower economic growth overshadowed a mostly positive January for stocks, with solid company earnings helping to offset some of those fears.  

“Earnings have surprised to the upside,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. 

“That said, there is still a tug-of-war within the market as to whether or not the economy is in fact going to slow this quarter or beginning of next quarter.”

In its earnings statement, Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google, said: “With great opportunities ahead, we continue to make focused investments in the talent and infrastructure needed to bring exceptional products and experiences to our users, advertisers and partners around the globe.”

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