Analysts from research firm Canaccord Genuity boosted their price target for search engine giant Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) from $700 to $850 per share.
Canaccord analysts Michael Graham and Shawn Rassouli cited that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s upward momentum will continue due to the following reasons: better cost-per-click (CPC) trends creating an upward bias on revenue estimates in the periods ahead, continued dissipation of Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:MMI) related apprehension, and multiple expansion.
Graham and Rassouli observed the search engine giant’s CPC continues to show signs of expansion or stabilizations. The research firm’s CPC tracker indicated that the company’s overall CPC slightly increased in July and August, pushed by higher desktop CPC, moderating shift to mobile and flat mobile CPCs. They think mobile ad rates will increase across the industry, beginning in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year, on to 2013, due to the fact that other media platforms, including Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P), are encouraging advertisers to embrace mobile advertising.
The analysts also observed that investors are becoming more comfortable with MMI. Investors expect MMI to provide a neutral EPS result at worst scenario. They also cited the conclusion of the patent infringement case between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics (LON:BC94), will possibly help further decrease the OEM apprehension surrounding Android, as the industry will likely to strike cross-licensing agreements.
The analysts gave a neutral EPS estimate for MMI, noting that their assumptions on the operating expenses and operating income for the company are conservative, based on its plan to downsize. According to them, the downsizing will possibly drive MMI to become accretive to earnings.
According to them, “We believe the most significant near-term negative is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s continued attempt to come between iOS users and Google’s search engine. This impacts long-term potential, but not near-term estimates, and we argue that Google gets little credit for its mobile opportunity anyway.”
Graham and Rassouli believe Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will continue to face strong competition in different sectors, including search, mobile, eCommerce, social networking, online, and traditional media. In addition, the search engine giant will continue to expand through acquisitions, but its inability to integrate its acquisitions and ensure the return of investments (ROI) will provide significant impact on the confidence of shareholders to the company and to its financial performance. The analysts also noted that Google is also facing several regulatory threats in the United States and other countries, which is unfavorable for its business operations. Its advertising revenue will continue to grow, but its operations and financial performance is not immune to weaknesses or global economic instability.
The stock price of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is around $751.59 per share during the afternoon trading on Tuesday at Nasdaq.