Bengaluru   — Alphabet’s Google failed to reap the benefits of a strong economy that bolstered rivals in the first quarter, leaving the search giant’s revenue below Wall Street targets on Monday. Shares of Alphabet dropped more than 5% hours after closing up 1.5% at a record-high of $1,296.20. Major competitors for ad spending such as Facebook, Snap, Amazon.com   and Twitter  all reported last week quarterly revenue above or in line with analysts’ expectations. Alphabet said its quarterly revenue rose 17% from a year ago to $36.3bn, compared with Wall Street’s average estimate of $37.3bn, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Accounting for currency fluctuations, revenue rose 19%. The 17% rise was the slowest in three years and compared with 26% for the same quarter a year earlier. The company said that paid clicks on its properties fell 9% compared with the previous quarter. Quarterly costs rose about the same as revenue, up 16.5%  from 2018  to $29.7bn. Expenses have surged faste...

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