Google Inc (GOOG) Price Target Raised By Jefferies Ahead Of Earnings


Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) releases its fourth quarter earnings report tomorrow, and Jefferies analysts are pretty bullish on the company. Their estimates are actually ahead of Wall Street’s, and they have increased their price target to $1,300 from $1,150 per share ahead of tomorrow’s report. They maintained their Buy rating on the stock.

Estimating Google’s results

Analyst Brian Pitz and his team said trends for the holiday quarter look good for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). They particularly are expecting strength in revenues for Google Sites and Licensing and Other lines. They’re expecting an increase of 28% in paid clicks, which they believe will be driven by mobile and Product Listing Ad clicks. However, they expect to see a decline of about 10% year over year in cost per click.

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They’re modeling $14.1 billion in net revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs. That’s compared to Wall Street estimates of $13.5 billion. They’re expecting EBITDA of $7 billion, compared to consensus of $6 billion. They’re looking for non-GAAP earnings per share of $13.67 for the quarter, compared to Wall Street estimates of $12.25 per share.

Google’s holiday numbers look strong

The reason the Jefferies team is so bullish on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is because of holiday data from the search giant’s advertising partners. They said digital marketing firms Kenshoo, ChannelAdvisor, RKG and IgnitionOne have all published data showing a meaningful increase in Product Listing Ads by online retailers. They said those reports confirm the findings of their proprietary study on PLAs, which was done in December. Kenshoo alone, which they say was the number one advertiser in their study, reported a 138% year over year increase in PLA spending by online retailers during the holiday shopping season.

The Jefferies team also said Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s fourth quarter traffic trends also look good, according to comScore data. Also they note that Android saw meaningful gains in market share around the globe during the fourth quarter, according to Kantar data. Kantar reports that Android had a 50% share of sales in the U.S., 79% in Canada, 84% in Latin America and 86% in Spain.