Alphabet Hits Record High on Post-Earnings Analyst Upgrades

Alphabet shares touch a record high after several Wall Street analysts lift their one-year price targets following blowout fourth-quarter earnings.
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Shares of Google parent Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Report hit new highs on Wednesday after several Wall Street analysts lifted their one-year price targets after the search, advertising and cloud-technology giant reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat estimates.

Alphabet jumped more than 7% in early trading following a raft of upgrades from Wall Street analysts, who lifted their price targets for the stock after the Mountain View, Calif., company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and sales

Most notable was Susquehanna analyst Shyam Patil, who lifted his one-year price target on Google to a Street high of $3,000 from $2,000.

Jefferies analyst Brent Thill lifted his price target to $2,400 from $2,150 amid what he sees as strong growth in retail advertising, particularly on YouTube, even as operating margins rang in lower than expected, and as cloud growth trailed rival Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report. Thill has a buy rating on the stock.

Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak, meantime, lifted his one-year price target to $2,200 from $2,050, noting in a research note to clients that gains in both revenue and traffic on YouTube make it “the most-undervalued ad platform” in the analyst’s coverage realm. Nowak held his overweight rating on Alphabet.

Doug Anmuth with J.P. Morgan, meantime, raised his one-year price target to $2,390 from $2,050, noting Alphabet’s broader bottom-line rebound “has legs” as travel ads have yet to rebound. Anmuth also noted that cloud margins should improve with scale. He too held his overweight rating. 

Not to be left behind, Guggenheim analyst Michael Morris also raised his one-year price target on Alphabet to $2,400 from $2,000 on expectations that strength in traffic and revenue from its core search offering “… should calm lingering concerns around trend maturity." Morris also has a buy rating on Alphabet.

Shares of Alphabet were up 7.11% at $2,055.66 in trading on Wednesday after ending the regular trading day Tuesday up 1.38% at $1,919.12. The stock's previous 52-week closing high was $1955.76 reached on Jan. 26.

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