Google (GOOGL) Stock Gaining Following Price Target Increase

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Google (GOOGL) are rising 0.32% to $560.34 on Thursday after analysts at Societe General today raised their price target to $705 from $615 with a "buy" rating.

The firm decided to take the half-full glass view on Google.

The company "operates in a growing ecosystem as online continues to take 2pp of the overall global ad pie every year, underpinning growth impressive for a company this size both at the revenue and earnings per share level," according to the analyst note.

On the other hand, the company is losing share within the online ad pie, consequently underperforming the other U.S. ad-supported online mega-cap Facebook (FB). Google is also facing rising regulatory pressure in Europe and its margins have flattened due to continued investments, analysts said.

Despite these risks, analysts remain bullish, given that valuation multiples are broadly in line with European and Global Media.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GOOGLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GOOGLE INC (GOOGL) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • GOOGL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Although GOOGL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.28, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for GOOGLE INC is rather high; currently it is at 69.99%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.77% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 50.69% to $6,617.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GOOGLE INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 41.51%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GOOGL Ratings Report

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