Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report still has room to run, according to a bullish note from Jefferies Thursday that suggests the tech behemoth's true value has yet to be unlocked due to a lack of transparency about its businesses and investments.
The firm has a buy rating and $1,500 price target on the company, but the stock's 13% year-to-date rise trails both the S&P 500 (17%) and Nasdaq (20%) in performance in 2019.
Alphabet shares were rising 2.4% to $1,209.78 Thursday early afternoon, compared to the Nasdaq's 1.6% rise.
"GOOGL investors have raised many concerns, including: recent slowdown in ad rev growth, competitive losses to (AMZN) - Get Report and (FB) - Get Report , too much friction from search to purchase relative to AMZN, newer initiatives that come with lower margin than core advertising and are slow to produce meaningful rev, and heightened regulatory overhang," Thill wrote.
The biggest thing investors are looking for from Alphabet is transparency, according to Thill, with respect to both its segment disclosures and investments in new areas. Jefferies' note acknowledges that Alphabet is sprawling and its initiatives are wide-ranging, but incremental disclosures "as part of a half-day analyst event could make a big difference."
Despite this failing, Jefferies remains positive on Alphabet thanks to its attractive valuation, healthy digital advertising market, and "call options" that include YouTube, Waymo, hardware and Google Cloud.
Thill still sees Alphabet's net revenue growth decelerating to 16% by 2020, however.
GOOGL, AMZN and FB are all key holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust.