Google’s Q1 ad sales surge 32%, Alphabet profit doubles

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Google’s digital advertising network has shifted back into high gear after an unprecedented reversal during the early stages of the pandemic. The robust first-quarter advertising growth announced Tuesday provides the latest sign that advertisers are expecting the economy to roar back to life as more people get vaccinated against COVID-19 and burst out of their pandemic cocoons. Google is now benefiting from that recovery. The company’s ad sales surged 32% from the same time last year to nearly $45 billion during the January-March period. It’s the third consecutive quarter of accelerating ad growth for Google following an 8% decline during last year’s April-June period.

Microsoft profits soar

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft’s profits soared during the first three months of 2021, thanks to ongoing demand for its software and cloud computing services during the pandemic. The company on Tuesday reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $14.8 billion, up 38% from the same period last year. Net income of $1.95 per share beat Wall Street expectations. According to FactSet analysts were expecting Microsoft to earn $1.78 per share on revenue of $41 billion for the fiscal quarter ending in March. The software maker posted revenue of $41.7 billion in the January-March period, up 19% from last year.

Toyota acquires Lyft’s self-driving unit

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. has acquired the self-driving division of American ride-hailing company Lyft for $550 million, in a move that highlights the Japanese automaker’s ambitions in that technology. The acquisition, announced Tuesday, was carried out by Woven Planet Holdings, a Toyota subsidiary that began business in January and focuses on innovations and investment in projects such as “smart cities,” robotics and automated driving. The Woven Planet project will bring together an international team of engineers and researchers in mobility services, software and sensor assets and automated driving systems, according to Toyota.

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