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Alphabet Q4 results top estimates, but ad business growth just misses forecasts - Alphabet reported fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates, as its cloud business continued to strengthen, but advertising growth fell just shy of expectations.

Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL) stock fell 4% in post-market Tuesday.

Google-parent Alphabet reported  earnings per share of $1.64 on revenue of $86.31 billion. Analysts polled by anticipated EPS of $1.59 on revenue of $85.23B.

The better-than-expected results were driven by advertising growth and stronger margins, which grew 27% from 24% in the same period a year ago.

"[O]ngoing strength in Search and the growing contribution from YouTube and Cloud. Each of these is already benefiting from our AI investments and innovation," the company said.

Google advertising climbed 11%, to $65.52B in Q4 from a year earlier, though that was just shy of estimates of $65.8B, with Google Search & other rising 13% and YouTube adds up 15.5%.

Google Cloud was up 26% to $9.19B in Q4 from a year earlier. 

Traffic acquisition costs, or TAC, a major cost for Google, rose to 8.2% to $13.99B in Q4 from the prior-year period.

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