Shares of Alphabet (GOOG) - Get Report are on the rise after the company announced better-than-expected second quarter results, which sparked several price target hikes from Wall Street analysts. Among those who upped their targets is Jefferies analyst Brian Pitz, who believes the shares of Google's parent company are on the road to reach $1,000 per share.
RESULTS: Last night, Alphabet reported second quarter earnings per share of $8.42 and revenue of $21.5B, above consensus estimates of $8.03 and $20.76B, respectively. Additionally, the company reported second quarter aggregate paid clicks up 29% compared to last year, and second quarter websites revenue of $15.4B compared to $12.4B last year.
MOBILE, YOUTUBE DRIVE BEAT: Jefferies' Pitz raised his price target for Alphabet to $1,000 from $925, saying the company's second quarter beat reflects accelerating growth at Google, namely in mobile search and YouTube. The analyst told investors in a research note this morning that he continues to see online video as the biggest online ad growth driver and YouTube as the premier vehicle to play that trend. Further, he pointed out that "substantial strength" in mobile search is driven by improvement in ad formats, and noted that Google continues to innovate by rolling out products like expanded mobile text ads. Alphabet is expected to continue to invest "heavily" in areas such as cloud and Fiber, but with a "rigorous approach to expense management," he contended. Pitz said Alphabet remains a Franchise Pick and reiterated a Buy rating on the stock.
REVENUE GROWTH: JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth raised his price target for Alphabet to $950 from $920 after the company reported the "strongest" revenue growth in more than four years. The analyst said his bull case on Alphabet remains given the "strong" revenue growth driven by mobile and YouTube, the company's cost discipline, better optimized capital structure and returns to shareholders, and the stock's attractive valuation. Anmuth reiterated an Overweight rating on the shares.
MACHINE LEARNING IN THE SPOTLIGHT: In a separate note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster also raised his price target for Alphabet to $930 from $911, saying the company "bounced back" after a slight miss in the first quarter. Mobile continued to drive the biggest part of revenue growth, Munster told investors, with the company implementing some new text formats that could provide a new revenue boost. With the company's machine learning being highlighted during Alphabet's earnings call, the analyst said that he continues to view voice as a big part of the future of machine interface. It is difficult to quantify the direct impact of machine learning and artificial intelligence on the company's business, but Munster believes they are likely the leaders in the category given the amount of resources put toward those efforts. He has an Overweight rating on the stock.
Reporting by Jessica de Sa-Mota.
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