By Dan Gallagher 

If Google steps on the gas in its burgeoning cloud business, it should be well remembered that this is no cheap ride.

When parent company Alphabet Inc. releases fourth quarter results on Tuesday afternoon, the company plans to split the Google Cloud business as a reportable segment. This includes information about the cost and profitability of the unit. Alphabet has been reporting Google Cloud revenue for a year. The company should better tailor the additional details to its top cloud peers Amazon.com and Microsoft, both of which report segment profitability for their respective – if not easily comparable – cloud operations.

Investors have usually welcomed such details. Amazon’s share price more than doubled in 2015. This was largely aided by the company’s decision to break out numbers for the AWS cloud business. These details showed that AWS is more profitable than expected – and far more profitable than Amazon’s retail …



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