Motley Fool: Digital advertising and cloud computing strength positions Alphabet to grow – The Dallas Morning News

The Motley Fool Take

Google parent company Alphabet has been battling economic headwinds, such as unfavorable foreign exchange rates and weak consumer spending resulting in shrunken advertising budgets. Third-quarter revenue rose just 6% year over year to $69 billion (or 11% in constant currency), while earnings dropped 24%.

That said, Alphabet’s long-term prognosis is very good. Google is by far the dominant search engine globally, and that competitive advantage has propelled it to the top of the advertising industry.

Alphabet has also developed a strong presence in cloud computing. Google Cloud Platform ranks a distant third in market share for cloud infrastructure and platform services. However, analysts at Gartner recently noted that Google Cloud Platform had “both the highest percentage of revenue gains and improvements” across critical capabilities of any provider during the past year.

With leading positions in digital advertising and cloud computing – two large and expanding markets – Alphabet is well positioned to grow. It seems attractively priced, too, with a price-to-earnings ratio recently below 19, and shares having fallen more than 35% year to date.

(Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is on The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and has recommended Alphabet.)

D-FW inflation eased in November but rents are setting records

Ask the Fool

From P.D., Shenandoah, Iowa: What are dividends in the stock world?

The Fool responds: They’re payments from a company to a shareholder. A company can do various things with its money, such as paying down debt, or investing in further growth by hiring more workers, building more factories and so on. When executed well, those moves can benefit shareholders in the long run. The company might also reward shareholders more directly. One way is to repurchase shares, which leaves the remaining shares more valuable. Another is to provide dividends to shareholders; this is typically via quarterly cash payments, though sometimes it’s with stock. Investing in healthy and growing companies that pay dividends is a great strategy, but some terrific companies don’t pay dividends — often because they’re still growing rapidly and want to invest their money in furthering their growth.

From T.G., Westwood, N.J.: What is the U.S. inflation rate, and how does it compare to that of other countries?

The Fool responds: Our annual inflation rate was recently 8.1%, according to the International Monetary Fund, well above our long-term average of about 3% per year. People have paid a lot of attention to inflation in the U.S. lately, but much of the rest of the world is facing steep inflation as well. Here are recent annual inflation rates for many countries, in ascending order:

  • Switzerland and Taiwan: 3.1%
  • Bolivia: 3.2%
  • Norway: 4.7%
  • France: 5.8%
  • Canada: 6.9%
  • Mexico: 8%
  • Germany: 8.5%
  • Italy: 8.7%
  • Botswana: 11.2%
  • Poland: 13.8%
  • Nigeria: 18.9%
  • Czech Republic: 16.3%
  • Ethiopia: 33.6%
  • Turkey: 73.1%
  • Venezuela: 210%
  • Zimbabwe: 284.9%

Those yearly rates are jarring, but not unheard of. When inflation reaches 50% or more per month, that’s considered “hyperinflation,” a miserable economic situation.

Losing a job isn’t fun, but many employers are still looking to fill open positions.(Nam Y. Huh / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Fool’s School

Unemployment is rather low these days — with a recent national rate of just 3.7% — but that doesn’t mean that some people aren’t losing their jobs. Here are some things to do if you lose yours.

  • Assess your financial situation and perhaps revise your budget, cutting out unnecessary spending. Don’t cash out your 401(k) if you can help it, because even small sums saved and invested can become large if left to keep growing.
  • Feel your feelings. It’s very reasonable to feel hurt, angry and/or scared. You might even feel ashamed, but don’t let that stop you from letting others know that you lost your job, as they may be able to comfort or help you. (Do avoid badmouthing your former employer on social media or in interviews, as that can make you look unprofessional or unappealing to potential employers.)
  • Reach out to your network of former and current colleagues and people you know in your field. Ask them to keep you in mind if they hear of openings that might suit you — and perhaps to put in a good word for you. (It’s smart to cultivate a strong network well before you need it. Build many professional relationships and tend to them over the years through occasional coffees or lunches, sharing articles of interest and so on.)
  • Don’t expect great success from mailing out lots of letters and resumes. According to some reports, around 70% of jobs are not listed publicly on job sites, and up to 80% of jobs are filled via personal and professional connections.
  • Take some time to read up on job search advice, interviewing tips and suggestions for how to advance your career. (It might be smart to earn a new certification or designation, for example.)
  • Beef up your LinkedIn profile, and become a regular visitor to sites such as, and

Losing a job isn’t fun, but your next job may end up being much better.

My Smartest Investment

The smartest investment I know was my grandmother’s. She bought shares of United Telephone and Electric back in 1927. It was a small company then, buying up telephone companies and other businesses. Her banker was pessimistic about its future and advised her to sell her shares, but she didn’t. I received some of her shares as part of her estate, and by then, after various mergers and convolutions, they were shares of Sprint and worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The Fool responds: Your grandmother did what is not easy for many investors to do — she held on for decades, through good times and bad times, letting her investment grow and grow over time. Not every company will keep growing for decades, so one should never just hold blindly for a long time. But as long as a company is growing and is poised to keep doing so, it’s often a smart move to take no action and just be patient.

Sprint’s history is a complex one. It’s now part of T-Mobile US, having merged with it in 2020. With a recent market value near $180 billion, T-Mobile is now one of the largest telecommunications companies in the U.S., along with AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. It expects its 5G network to cover 97% of Americans by the end of the year and its ultra-capacity 5G network to cover 90% by the end of 2023.

Who am I?

I trace my roots back to 1938, when four brothers boosted their family’s tobacco distribution business by introducing chewing gum. I launched Bazooka gum in 1947 and introduced a set of 407 baseball cards in 1952. My offerings now include cards for Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga, National Hockey League, Formula One, Star Wars and Garbage Pail Kids. I offer sports and entertainment apps and recently released my own NFTs – “Non-Flushable Tokens.” My card business was bought by Fanatics Holdings in 2022, and my candy business was kept by the previous owners and rebranded as Bazooka Companies.

Can’t remember last week’s question? Find it here.

Last week’s trivia answer: Kroger.

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