Google is starting to break out its fundamentals for investors through the restructure under new parent company Alphabet and has earned a long string of price target increases as a result of the greater transparency. Now the search giant has received yet another increase, this time for a new valuation of its “Other Bets” segment, which consists of most of its moonshot projects.
Breaking down the Other Bets business
In a report dated Dec. 18, Pacific Crest Securities analysts Evan Wilson and Tyler Parker said they estimate that Google’s Other Bets business lost $1.5 billion this year and that they value it at $22 billion. However, they say the losses could stretch up into the low end of the $2 billion to $5 billion range Wall Street is currently estimating for the segment. They believe the business generated revenue of $560 million after reviewing various public sources.
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We won’t see an official breakdown of the segment and a report of just how much money it lost this year until Alphabet releases its earnings report for the fourth quarter, which will be the first under the new reporting structure.
Greater losses in Other Bets a positive for Google?
Wilson and Parker report that much of Wall Street believes that the more money the Other Bets segment is losing, the better it is for Google because it makes Alphabet’s core search business more profitable. And of course the more profitable the core business is, the more valuable it is. However, they now disagree with this view because they’re unsure that the new disclosure of how much the Other Bets segment is losing will really make the core ad business look more positive.
They think Alphabet management is simply aiming to be more shareholder-friendly, which they still see as a positive catalyst.
Alphabet price target to $850
The Pacific Crest team boosted their price target from $820 to $850 per share. They said that in the past, they “have resisted adding a separate valuation assumption for the other bets, given their speculative and loss-making condition.”
“However, after a more formal understanding and the company’s upcoming disclosure, we are applying a valuation assumption of $22 billion, or $21 per share, for the other bets and adding it to our previous valuation assessment,” they wrote in their report.
Shares of Alphabet edged lower by as much as 0.12% to $755.96 per share during regular trading hours today.