Friday 17 January 2020 8:44 am

Google it: Alphabet hits $1 trillion landmark amid ad growth optimism

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has hit a landmark stock market valuation of $1 trillion (£760bn) for the first time.

The company’s shares rose by 0.76 per cent yesterday, enough to make it the fourth US-listed company to hit the milestone.

Shares ended the day valued at $1,450.16.

Alphabet hit the valuation 22 years after it was founded, and 16 years after its initial stock market float.

The only other companies to hit $1 trillion in the US are Apple and Amazon in 2018, then Microsoft last year.

Apple and Microsoft have since become even more valuable, while Amazon’s stock has fallen back.

Alphabet’s shares have risen this week as analysts forecast strong advertising revenues at Google.

The search engine, the company’s most famous brand, makes up almost all of Alphabet’s sales. 

However, the firm has several other divisions, including autonomous car firm Waymo and digital health arms Calico and Verily.

The last year has been a tricky one for Google politically. President Donald Trump has accused the company of censorship and bias, while countries around the world have increased the level scrutiny applied to it by regulators.

Nonetheless, this week’s gains indicate that the troubles are far from the front of investors’ minds.

Shares of the internet search giant are up nearly 17 per cent over the last three months, outpacing a broader rally in the S&P 500 index over the same period by six percentage points.

Alphabet is poised to report fourth-quarter earnings on 3 February. The company missed analyst’s estimates for third-quarter profit by about $1.7bn.

However, that did little to deter investors either. Alphabet shares retreated briefly on the report, only to resume their steep climb days later.