NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG) is the preeminent Internet behemoth, putting its tentacles in seemingly every business: search, advertising, robotics, Internet of Things, driverless cars, mapping, and mobile, just to name a few. With all of those businesses under its umbrella, Google may be worth significantly more than it's trading for now.
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali raised his price target on the Mountain View, Calif.-based Google to $1,300, up from $1,260, not only for the Motorola sale to Lenovo, (Google kept the vast majority of Motorola Mobility's patents), but the way that Google has transformed seemingly every business, including online shopping, with its product listing ads (PLAs). "Returns so far have been impressive enough that ~$1B in incremental ad spend is likely to move to PLAs in 2014, by our estimate," Squali wrote in the note. "While search advertising has been a mainstay in most online ad budgets, we believe PLAs could cause a faster shift of ad budgets to Google as merchants chase higher ROI channels and success of PLAs could, over time, make Google an even bigger starting point for shoppers, gaining share from Amazon and eBay."
As a result, Squali updated his earnings estimates for Google for fiscal 2014, to reflect the loss of the low-margin handset business from Motorola. He now expects Google to generate $51.8 billion in revenue for 2014, down from a previous view of $56.5 billion, but EBITDA (earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization), will rise to $26.6 billion, up from a prior view of $24.9 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Google to generate $70.73 billion in revenue for 2014.
Product Listing Ads, as Squali notes, are a threat to Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY), especially Amazon. Amazon doesn't purchase a significant amount of PLAs from Google, but interestingly enough, its subsidiaries, such as Zappos, do. On the other hand, eBay is known to be one of Google's top PLA customers. Squali notes that in the fourth-quarter, PLAs saw "tremendous success," showcasing Google's innovation in paid search, which compliment's the company's core search business.
Shares of Google were slightly higher in pre-market trading, up 0.09% to $1,133.00.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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