Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s stronger than expected fourth quarter earnings compelled over two dozen analysts to upgrade their price targets for the stock Wednesday.
Analysts who raised questions about the company’s slow advertising growth a few months ago, are now saying that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is well-positioned to generate more revenues from mobile ads in the future.
The company posted $2.9 billion or $10.65 in earnings on revenues of $12.16 billion for the fourth quarter. Analysts polled by Thompson Reuters had estimated $12.36 billion in revenues and $10.56 per share in earnings. It helped the company cross $50 billion-threshold in annual revenues.
Doug Anmuth, analyst at JPMorgan Securities, said that the business is rapidly shifting towards mobile. And now advertisers are more concerned about the number of clicks instead of which device they come from. Though the average cost-per-click was down 6 percent for the quarter, compared to the same period a year ago, it was up 2 percent on a sequential basis. Average cost-per-click measures the amount advertisers pay the search engine giant.
In a research note to investors, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) said that it has raised the price target for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) from $802 to $860 with an Overweight rating. In a separate note, analysts at Wedbush raised their price target from $740 to $770 as Google is already trading well above $740. However, Wedbush remains cautious about Google’s margin which was 35.2 percent, lower than Wedbush’s estimate of 36.4 percent. The analysts are also concerned about volatility at Motorola Home business as the company ramps up its existing product line and boosts investment in new products.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) analysts increased their price target for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares from $794 to $843 Wednesday with an Overweight rating on the stock. Nomura also raised its price target from $840 to $860 with Buy rating.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares opened Wednesday at $702.87, and within minutes surged $43.27 to $746.14 in early market trading.