Yandex NV Coverage Initiated With “Buy” Rating

Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) may face both political and country risks, but those won’t hold the company down forever, according to analysts at Canaccord Genuity. They believe that worries about these risks have created an opportunity for investors because they could weigh the company down temporarily.

Yandex’s multiple contracts

In a report dated Sept. 11, 2014, analysts Marla Ripps, Michael Graham and Austin Moldow note that Yandex’s price to earnings ratio has fallen from 40 times last year to 27 times now. In spite of the decline, however, they note that the company’s business fundamentals look just as strong as ever.

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They say the Russian search giant’s name has evolved into a verb just like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG). In addition, they see some upside possibilities for the company’s core platform, plus an “option value” in Yandex’s “adjacent businesses.”

Yandex’s fundamentals look strong

The Canaccord Genuity team said the internet ad market in Russia is still developing, as internet penetration is only about 56%, compared to the mid-70% range in Europe. Yandex is the market leader, making up about 60% of internet advertising in Russia.

The analysts added that the company also runs a number of non-search businesses similar to Google: Yandex.Market, Yandex.Mail, Yandex.Maps, Yandex.Music, Yandex.Realty and Yandex.Jobs. They believe that all of these adjacent businesses could potentially generate “significant” value for the compay in the future.

Possible upside to estimates

The Canaccord Genuity team said if the Russian internet market grows more on a trajectory that’s similar to that of the U.S. internet advertising market between 2002 and 2007, then there could be upside to their estimates for Yandex. If that happens, they say the Russian search giant’s earnings per share growth could be closer to 30% instead of the approximately 20% they currently expect.

The analysts initiated coverage of Yandex with a Buy rating and $38 per share price target. They’re projecting non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.40 for 2015.