NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Despite missing revenue estimates, Google (GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report made analysts happy after it reported increased revenue from its video arm and announced a fresh approach from its new chief financial officer.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company reported revenue for the second quarter of $17.72 billion and adjusted earnings of $6.99 a share. Analysts had been expecting revenue of $17.75 billion and earnings of $6.71, according to a survey of analysts conducted by Thomson Reuters.
Google's GOOGL share class was surging 13.6% higher at $683.84 in premarket trading on Friday. On Thursday, shares rose 3.05% to $601.78.
The earnings report Thursday represented the first for Ruth Porat, the former Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Morgan Stanley (MS) Report finance chief and executive vice president whom Google hired for its CFO position in March. Looking to the future, analysts said they expect Porat to bring new discipline to the company's bottom line.
YouTube appeared to be contributing to the company's earnings in a different way. While the cost per click across Google's network dropped by 11% year over year, advertising revenue was up by 11% over the same period, driven largely by growth in user activity on YouTube.
With those developments, analysts either upgraded or retained positive ratings and upped price targets on Google shares. Here's what a few had to say.
Jefferies analyst Brian Pitz (Buy, $800 price target)
"We see two meaningful positive takeaways. First, YouTube is seeing significant revenue growth, driven by TrueView ads. We think online video ads could be a $17B opportunity in the U.S. alone by '17, and YT looks best positioned to benefit. Second, new CFO Ruth Porat will take a more disciplined approach to expense management and capital allocation -- welcome news."
KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Evan Wilson (Overweight, $745 price target)
"Google posted revenue ex TAC and EBITDA of $14.35 billion and $7.19 billion, respectively, versus our estimates of $14.49 billion and $6.94 billion. Google missed our revenue estimate due to Other revenue, while Sites and Network revenue were relatively in line. TAC was well below our estimate and continues to be a positive surprise. Currency-neutral growth was 18% y/y. CPCs missed but paidclicks beat, with the company pointing to YouTube as the culprit, not mobile."
Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler (Buy, $780 price target)
"Google has been our top pick in 2015 and the deep over-sold conditions are starting to correct on another solid quarter. We think this could be the dawn of a new era for shareholders. Google is showing investors that its management team (even pre-Ruth Porat) cares deeply about its stock price and talent retention. We've long held that innovation is alive and well, and the narratives around irrelevance in mobile or share loss to Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Reportthat weighed on the multiple were somewhat misguided. We have increased our 2016 EPS by 7%, and we expect the multiple to expand on a second quarter of margin stabilization, revenue re-acceleration, and improving management tone."
Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju (Outperform, $750 price target)
"For the second quarter in a row, Google has shown investors signs that YouTube is starting to contribute more meaningfully to revenue as it helped to drive acceleration in paid click growth to +30% (vs. 1Q15 25%) as well as U.S. revenue growth to 16%. Google Play was in-line with our estimate, suggesting it continues to grow at ~35% on an FX-neutral basis. As we have noted earlier, we continue to see clear indications of these two emerging business lines exerting greater impact to Google's revenue and we believe that as YouTube and Play continue to scale they should both see gross margin expansion which should drive further resets to operating and free cash flow dollar estimates."
TheStreet Ratings team rates GOOGLE INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate GOOGLE INC (GOOG) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. 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 and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- GOOG's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.2%. 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 GOOG'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.
- GOOGLE INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GOOGLE INC reported lower earnings of $20.22 versus $39.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($56.76 versus $20.22).
- Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, GOOG has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 9.37% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
- The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, GOOGLE INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: GOOG Ratings Report