Alphabet Inc.’s stock price has touched a new record high, pushing the company’s valuation above US$1 trillion for the first time.  Alphabet joins Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Inc. in an elite club of technology giants that have reached the trillion-dollar milestone.

In August 2018, Apple became the first tech giant to see its market cap top US$1 trillion. Amazon briefly touched  that level in September 2018, while Microsoft crossed the trillion-dollar mark last April.

Alphabet’s shares have been steadily rising since June, benefiting from upbeat Wall Street forecasts and healthy investor appetite for tech stocks.  The company’s market capitalization has increased nearly US$300 billion in the past seven months, thanks to a roughly 40-per-cent surge in its stock.

Google is a dominant force in the advertising business and advertising revenue is expected to fuel Alphabet’s upcoming earnings.  Analysts polled by Bloomberg estimate the company, which reports results Feb. 3, will generate more than US$38 billion in fourth-quarter revenue.  That would boost full-year revenue to more than US$154 billion, representing an annual increase of nearly 13 per cent.

The company’s mobile footprint remains one of its key advantages in the advertising world.  Its Android operating system runs on more than 2.5 billion devices.  Meanwhile, YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006, has grown to become a US$20 billion-a-year business.

Alphabet began the new decade with some major management changes. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin recently announced they would step down from their executive roles at Alphabet, placing Google CEO Sundar Pichai in charge of both Alphabet and Google.

Beyond advertising, Pichai is expected to continue pursuing growth in areas such cloud computing and hardware. 

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