Google and Microsoft endure a torrid start to the year

Google and Microsoft have hit investors for a double whammy after they simultaneously posted worse than expected quarterly earnings for the January-March period, sparking a sell-off in both.

Google’s parent firm Alphabet fared worst after shedding a whopping six per cent at the close of play on Wall Street, equating to a slump in market value of $32bn – despite a rise in revenues to $20.2bn.

This increase represented a 17 per cent boost on the same period last year when profits came in at $4.2bn but this wasn’t enough to assuage the markets, which had been expecting far stronger results.

Despite the numbers, which also saw a nine per cent fall in the all-important cost-per-click metric for online ads, Google said that its fundamentals remained sound.

Microsoft meanwhile continues to be buffeted by declines in the personal computing market, as PC shipments declined 11.5 per cent over the period, with its cloud computing business unable to grow quickly enough to meet the difference.

Overall Microsoft saw revenue slide from $21.7bn to $20.53bn contributing to a fall in profits to $3.76bn as a result of these shifts sending its shares plunging by five per cent.

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