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ETFs in Focus Post Alphabet's Q1 Earnings

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The earnings season is off to a flying start with markets expecting strong results. Although the performance of Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) seems rather impressive, markets are concerned that one-off events led to the earnings beat.

Shares of Alphabet fell 0.4% in after-hours trading on Apr 23, owing to continued investor pessimism around privacy regulations and increased competition. The company reported a 23% year-over-year rise in net quarterly revenues. It beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter revenues as well as earnings.

Q1 Performance

Alphabet reported non-GAAP earnings of $9.93 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9.21 and increased from $7.73 in the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $31.146 billion (excluding Network Member Property revenues) surpassed the consensus estimate of $26.502 billion.

Operating income increased to $7.001 billion from $6.568 billion in the year-ago quarter. The company reported that aggregate paid clicks increased 55% year over year, while aggregate cost-per-click was down 18%.

Revenue Performance

Properties revenues (including Traffic Acquisition costs) increased to $21.998 billion from $17.403 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Network members’ properties revenues (including Traffic Acquisition costs) rose to $4.644 billion from $4.008 billion a year ago.

Other revenues (including Traffic Acquisition costs) increased to $4.354 billion from $3.207 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Other Bets revenues (including Traffic Acquisition costs) rose to $150 million from $132 million in the year-ago quarter.

Total traffic acquisition costs increased to $6.288 billion from $4.629 billion in the year-earlier quarter.

However, owing to a new accounting rule, Alphabet reported unrealized gains and losses from investments. The company recorded a one-time equity gain of $3 billion. As a result, investors grew cautious of currency gains and accounting changes driving results to positive territory, before realizing the downside presented by stringent privacy regulations and challenges around filtering of obscene content.

In the current scenario, we believe it is prudent to discuss the following ETFs that have a relatively high exposure to Alphabet (see all Technology ETFs here).

Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK - Free Report)

XLK is a relatively cheaper bet on the technology sector. This fund has AUM of $20.5 billion and charges a fee of 13 basis points a year. It has 5.4% allocation to Alphabet Inc (Class C) and 5.3% to Alphabet Inc (Class A). The fund has returned 22.6% in a year and 1.9% year to date. XLK has a Zacks ETF Rank of #2 (Buy), with a Medium risk outlook.

Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT - Free Report)

This fund is one of the most popular and cheap bets on the U.S. technology sector. It has AUM of $18.5 billion and charges a fee of 10 basis points a year. It has a 9.7% allocation to Alphabet Inc. The fund has returned 25.7% in a year and 3.3% year to date. VGT has a Zacks ETF Rank of #3 (Hold), with a Medium risk outlook.

iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW - Free Report)

This fund provides exposure to the U.S. technology sector. It has AUM of $4.1 billion and charges a fee of 44 basis points a year. It has a 6.2% allocation to Alphabet Inc (Class C) and 6.1% to Alphabet Inc (Class A). The fund has returned 24.2% in a year and 2.6% year to date. IYW has a Zacks ETF Rank of #2, with a Medium risk outlook.

Below is a chart comparing the one-year performance of the funds and Alphabet.

Source: Yahoo Finance

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