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Alphabet Reins In ‘Moonshots’

Learning the Alphabet has been paying off for Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, tech-savvy sharemarket watchers say.

Just one year ago, Google reorganised itself under the new umbrella company Alphabet, after investors complained that Google was spending too much on high-risk efforts – or “moonshots”, as Page calls them.

New CFO Ruth Porat was brought in in mid-2015, tasked with reining in expenses and hopefully keeping them more in line with revenue growth.

Among the wilder projects put on a slower, but still alight, financial back-burner were smart-thermostat maker Nest; the “Fiber” high-speed Internet service for major cities; and “X lab”, where the company says it is building robotic cars and designing stratospheric balloons to beam Internet services to remote areas.

That part of Page’s vision appears to be panning out, according to a Silicon Valley News report. Alphabet’s second-quarter revenue jumped 22 percent from the previous year to $17.5 billion – its best performance in four years.

Alphabet shares rose 25 percent over the past year, easily outpacing major market indexes.

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