Porat also said Google had "only begun to scratch the surface" with newer forms of advertising such as mobile search, YouTube and automated ad buying. In the same quarter a year ago, the company reported $8.67 per share in adjusted earnings on $21.3 billion in revenue.

The company said aggregate paid clicks increased 36 percent year-over-year and 20 percent from last quarter.

Google reported an operating profit of $7.8bn for the quarter, up from $6.7bn a year ago.

This time however, even Alphabet's non-Google properties improved revenue-wise - it reported $262 million revenue from its Other Bets this quarter, which is an improvement over the $150 million from this time previous year. In fact, about 13 percent-or $3.4 billion-of the Google segment's $25.8 billion in revenues for the quarter, came from non-advertising sources.

Alphabet's ever-interesting headcount number increased again to 72,053 - up about 10,000 employees from the end of 2015.

During the earnings call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai touched a lot on Google's main new areas of investment like hardware, cloud services, and YouTube. Not surprisingly, that made up the vast majority of Alphabet's revenue, which grew 22% year over year to $26.1 billion.

More news: Wall Street posts mixed session as investors digest earnings

Excluding items, the company earned US$9.36 per share, below the average estimate of US$9.64 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

That discrepancy between growth in quarterly revenue and quarterly profit, however, may give investors reason to be concerned about the long-term growth prospects of a company that has been so focused on search and advertising. GOOG stock was down over two percent in extended trading, after falling a bit in the last trading session.

Alphabet will "continue to calibrate the magnitude and pace" of its investments in other bets, and "exercise careful stewardship over the amounts and pace of investments", Porat said.

As for voice search, which is built into the Home speaker and other Google products and services, Pichai slightly downplayed its importance, saying voice is just one way users will interact with Google.

Other Bets includes broadband business Google Fiber, home automation products Nest, self-driving technology company Waymo as well as X, the company's research facility that works on "moon shot" ventures. Oracle (ORCL) and International Business Machines (IBM) have also recently become aggressive in terms of spending in the cloud computing space.

"2016 was simply a great year for us", said Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Alphabet and Google, in a conference call with analysts.


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