Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) released its latest earnings report last week, and UBS analyst Eric J. Sheridan and his team see a mixed bag. However, they see more good than bad and have maintained their Buy rating on the company’s stock, adjusted their estimates and raised their price target from $1,300 per share to $1,350 per share.
UBS highlights the positive in Google’s report
The UBS team said the main positives in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s report were the strength in its core revenues and also its stable core margins. They note that revenues in Google Websites accelerated to increase 22% year over year, compared to 21% in the previous quarter. Core search revenues remained the main driver there.
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In addition, they said acceleration in paid click growth, which rose 31% year over year, compared to 26% in the previous quarter, was another positive. They also liked the lower-than-expected volatility in gross revenues from Google Network Members and stronger than expected growth in revenues from Google Play and hardware.
UBS sees negatives in Google’s report too
The UBS team said they were “less positive” on the steepening decline in cost per click, which declined 11% year over year compared to an 8% year over year decline in the previous quarter. They also note that weaker-than-expected revenues from Motorola and higher-than-expected operating losses from Motorola were big negatives as well.
However, those two problems will be remedied when Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) sells Motorola to Lenovo. Other negatives they saw include the lack of an update on cash returns, the announcement of a Class C stock dividend—which could cause confusion in the marketplace in March or April—and “core Google gross margin deleverage.
UBS changes Google estimates
The UBS analysts changed their estimates for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to reclassify Motorola as a discontinued operation. Their new estimates for the current quarter are net core Google revenues of $12.55 billion, compared to their previous estimate of $12.22 billion. They’re now projecting adjusted EBITDA of $6.34 billion, compared to their previous estimate of $6.18 billion, and adjusted earnings per share of $13.18, compared to their previous estimate of $12.50 per share.