Last Thursday, Alphabet, Inc. reported earnings of $7.35 per share. This was an increase of 17.6% over the same period last year and beat the consensus estimate by $0.14 per share. Revenues also beat estimates and came in at a whopping $18.68 billion. Don’t follow Alphabet? Are you sure…?
Earlier this month, Google, the largest name in internet search, became a holding company and changed its name to Alphabet. The search engine, Google, is now a division of the larger company, Alphabet, Inc. (formerly known as Google, Inc.). They did this mainly to separate the core businesses (Google search, Google maps, youtube, etc.) from all the other ventures that Alphabet deals in and give investors a clearer view of what each part of the company is worth.
This type of corporate structure is not unusual. Many of the companies you are familiar with may be owned by a larger holding company. For instance, QFC and Fred Meyer are both owned by the Kroger Corporation. Yum Brands owns Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC. And a company called L Brands owns the popular names Victoria’s Secret, Pink and Bath and Body Works.
But, Alphabet is doing something a little different. They are trying to create a portfolio of companies that are not necessarily related, a la Berkshire Hathaway (owner of such companies as Dairy Queen, Geico Auto Insurance, and See’s Candies). Search will obviously be the biggest part of the company, but smaller divisions will include the non-core businesses such as Nest (home thermostats and surveillance) and Life Sciences (smart contact lenses). The goal is to have the Google division focus on what it does best and to allow the other companies to develop outside the Google brand. This should also give the holding company more freedom to invest into the so called “moonshots” (eg. Google Glass, driverless cars, artificial brains, etc.) which won’t necessarily make money immediately, but could be huge and life changing in the future (like Google was).
Alphabet the stock will still carry the same ticker symbols: GOOGL for the class A shares, GOOG for the class C shares. Which begs the questions, “why two share classes?” and “what happened to the B shares?” Last year, Google split its shares into two share classes. The A shares which carry one vote and the C shares which have no voting rights at all. They did this so that they would have a currency that could be used for mergers and acquisitions without diluting the control of the current shareholders. This was especially important to the founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who currently own about 16% of the company but control 56% of the voting rights. They can do this because they own the class B shares, which carry 10 votes per share and are not traded publically.
While Alphabet sounds kind of goofy as a company name, give it some time and I’m sure it will become part of our vocabulary. Consider Verizon. In June of 2000, Bell Atlantic and GTE merged and changed their name to Verizon. I remember all the fussing about what does it mean and how do you pronounce it (“vair´-ih-zahn” was a common attempt). But, now as the nation’s largest wireless phone carrier, it just rolls off the tongue. In the same way that Google is now a noun and a verb.
So, fear not. The newly popularized stock acronym FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) may now be obsolete. But, you will not be alphabetting “how long is the Great Wall of China” any time soon. Google, the search engine, will still exist as it currently does. After all, as Alphabet co-founder Larry Page wrote on the Alphabet website: “G is for Google.”
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A Financial Advisor registered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P., Gavin has 25 years of experience as an advisor in the Puget Sound area.
“I believe every client is unique and deserving of a personalized financial plan that will help them reach their individual financial goals. Before I make any recommendations, I like to get to know my clients. By asking the right questions, and developing an honest, trusting relationship, I can really get a sense of what’s going to work best for them.”
Gavin graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Business Administration and started his financial career with US Bank in the Investment Department. Prior to joining Verity in 2006, he spent eight years with Piper Jaffray.
So what is Gavin’s vision for his dream retirement?
“My dream retirement would be absolutely worry free: financially, emotionally, and in every aspect of life. My finances would be in order so expenses for travel, luxuries, and gifts for the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids would be taken care of. My kids would be financially sound, so I would be confident in their prosperity. This would give me the freedom to travel and play and do whatever it is I want to do.”
When Gavin’s not working, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching Husky football and taking weekend trips around the Northwest.
Gavin is registered to transact securities business in the states of AZ, CA, CO, FL, HI, ID, IL, KS, MN, NV, NY, OR, UT, VA and WA.
*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, LP (“CUSO Financial”) (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CUSO Financial. Verity Credit Union has contracted with CUSO Financial to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members. Atria Wealth Solutions, Inc. (“Atria”) is not a broker-dealer or Registered Investment Advisor and does not provide advice. CUSO Financial is a subsidiary of Atria.
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