Moonshots can be pricey, apparently.

Google's parent company just posted earnings for the last quarter, and the most interesting takeaway has nothing to do with the revenue it reported or sales but rather its new method of breaking out results for its main products and moonshot ventures.

Google reorganised last year and setup Alphabet as its holding company in order to separate core businesses (such as Search, Ads, Maps, YouTube, Apps, Cloud, Android, Chrome, Google Play, etc) from its newer ventures, dubbed moonshots (such as Google Fiber, Calico, Nest, etc). The tech giant now reports these as two segments: "Google" and "Other bets".

Alphabet spent $3.56 billion on "Other Bets" in 2015, while Google generated $23.42 billion in profit on $75.54 billion in revenue over the same period. The "Other Bets" segment currently includes "Access/Google Fiber, Calico, Nest, Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), GV (formerly Google Ventures), Google Capital, X (formerly Google [X]) and other initiatives".

Now, beyond 'other bets', the other interesting bit involves the one thing most certainly driving Google's future: ads. During the fourth quarter, advertising represented 90 per cent of Google’s total revenue. Ads on Google sites represented almost 80 per cent of ad revenue, and aggregate paid clicks rose 31 per cent from the previous year, eclipsing expectations.

Aggregate cost-per-click, however, fell 13 per cent year over year. Still, in response to these earnings, Google's shares jumped 9 per cent in after-hours trading. Google has now reached a level at which it would surpass Apple as the most valuable US company for the first time in six years. Alphabet's market cap would be $570 billion, beating Apple's $535 billion.

Tune into Alphabet’s live call at 1:30 PM PT to hear executives discuss more details about the earnings release.

READ: Google reliance on ads could force investors to question direction

Oh, and Gmail now has 1 billion monthly active users. Not bad.

Sections Apps