Google’s parent company Alphabet beat Wall Street’s expectations for its third quarter earnings Thursday, aided by its mobile and video ad businesses. While stock initially shot up 3% in after hours trading, it quickly leveled off and is up only about 1% Friday morning.
Net revenue was up 21% year over year and EPS exceeded estimates – $9.06 adjusted versus analysts expectations of $8.64 per share. The tech giant also announced a $7 billion stock buyback, only the second time Google has authorized a stock repurchase. It’s larger than the $5 billion buybackthe company announcedlast year.
In more good news for Alphabet, the majority of analysts remain bullish on the company, with some even bumping their price targets well above $1,000.
Here are some of the key takeaways from those who cover the stock:
Credit Suisse: BULLISH
Price Target: $1,120
Comment: “Google reported a top and bottom line beat with currency-neutral revenue growth of 23% – the contributing factors were once again improvements in mobile search and YouTube for the Web Sites segment, as well as Google Play and Cloud for the Other segment. FCF to double YOY owing to moderating capex. We continue to anticipate benefits from recent ad product rollouts (Expanded Text Ads, etc.) as ongoing catalysts.”
Deutsche Bank: BULLISH
Price Target: $1,080
Comment: “While still nascent, Play, Cloud and Hardware are providing a nice addition to the bull case on top of the core ads business. Shares have lagged other large cap technology peers YTD and given the valuation, we think we could see outperformance into 2017.”
Price Target: $975
Comment: “The bottom line is that our view on GOOG hasn’t changed much post 3Q. The financial model is strong, as the core businesses are growing better than expected, and expense controls are reasonable. There remain many new opportunities for GOOG in Cloud, hardware, AI, and emerging businesses. However, it’s not all smooth sailing from here. Visibility is as low as we’ve seen it in over a decade of covering the stock. The model is more complex than it’s ever been. Comps are getting tougher, rev shares with partners are rising, and margins will decline from current levels. We think that investors will want to see execution against some of the new opportunities for the stock to work meaningfully from current levels.”
B. Riley: BULLISH
Price Target: $990
Comment: “Raising PT from $950 to $990 on 12.5x EV/EBITDA for core biz and 10x EV/sales for Other Bets.”
Price Target: $910
Comment: “Alphabet’s 3Q16 results came in generally better than expected, with the sequential deceleration in Websites revenue less than feared, margins rising on a y/y basis, and the board authorizing additional share repurchases. However, offsetting this solid quarter was a greater than expected step-up in TAC expense due to the outperformance in mobile search and programmatic ad revenue. This, combined with difficult comps in 4Q16 which will continue on into 2017, could result in net revenue growth decelerating to the mid-teens next year.”
Price Target: $1,000
Comment: “After repeated mgmt. warnings about topline deceleration from lapping 3Q15 product changes, 3Q16 topline growth of 23% y/y x-FX demonstrates core innovation remains brisk. The revenue beat and cost discipline resulted in an Adj. Op Income beat 4%/3% above our/consensus [estimates]…Alphabet’s capex was essentially flat y/y in 3Q16 (+4%) at $2.4BN and comments suggest capex should remain range-bound given a pull-back in the expansion of Fiber.”
Price Target: $1,000
Comment: “Alphabet easily beat estimates with strength again coming from mobile search and YouTube, the most important products. From a capital allocation standpoint, we appreciate Alphabet is investing in strategic, promising areas like Google Assistant and hardware, while pausing investment in less rewarding areas like Fiber.”
CFRA Research: BULLISH
Price Target: $940
Comment: “We raise our 12-month target by $40 to $940. Peers have a median forward P/E of 33X and a P/E-to-growth ratio of 1.3. Using these multiples and averaging the outputs result in our target. We raise our EPS estimates for ’16 to $34.44 from $34.09 and ’17 to $40.90 from $40.24. GOOGL posts Q3 non-GAAP EPS of $9.06 vs. $7.35, $0.50 above our estimate, reflecting higher revenues, wider margins, and a lower tax rate than we projected.”
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