Google Inc (GOOG) (GOOGL) Earnings: What Analysts Think?

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At the end of last week, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) released its Q1 report, however, Google missed Street revenue expectations and revealed a 9% decline of prices for paid for clicks on search ads, year over year. Yet, despite this disappointment, Google did post $15.42 billion in sales and $3.35 billion in earnings. Even though analysts expected $12.3 billion in net revenue, Google still reported an impressive $12.1 billion in net revenue.

Google CFO, Patrick Pichette, admitted that the company’s ability to monetize certain traffic was “impacted by a number of factors”. Patrick argued, “Our monetization metrics continued to be impacted by a number of factors discussed on previous calls, including geographic mix, device mix, property mix as well as products and policy changes.” And he promised analysts that more information would be revealed in the coming quarters.

Analysts responded to Google’s latest numbers with a consensus BUY Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL). And even though some analysts lowered their price targets, overall, analysts were pleased with Google’s performance. To review all analyst recommendations, download TipRanks.

Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler reiterated his BUY rating, but lowered his price target from $655 to $625. Ross felt that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s report was actually in line with expectations, noting, “side from the one-time expense items related to recent M+A, 1Q14 results were largely in-line across the board. Website revenue remains a critical metric for the health of Google’s overall search and YouTube businesses, and posted strong growth +21% y/y to $10.47B (vs. cons $10.47B).” However, Ross is keeping a careful eye on the fact that, “EBITDA margins for Google core were ~49.3% we estimate (using $1.06B in core D&A), down 280bps y/y. One-time expense items related to the acquisitions of Nest and other start-ups created 190bps of de-leverage in G+A (vs. 67bps of leverage in 4Q) for an estimated ~$200M impact to EBITDA in 1Q, which won’t recur according to Google.” And that, “growth in the UK (ex-FX) decelerated by 4ppts q/q to 11% on Network and tough weather comp.”

RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney also lowered his price target from $710 to $670 and reiterated his BUY Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) rating. Mark pointed out that “underperformance was broad based, but Google Partner Websites and U.K. geography were specific points of weakness.” But, he still finds GOOGL’s performance impressive noting, “This represents Google’s 17th consecutive quarter of 20%+ organic revenue growth. Our quick scrub of the S&P 500 shows that only three companies have maintained 20%+ revenue growth for the last 16 quarters or more from a $10B+ run rate: Google ,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) (calculated using Gross Bookings).”

Analyst Stephen Ju of Credit Suisse also recommended BUY Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), but raised his price target from $725 to $735, disagreeing that the 9% decrease in sales is not a bad thing. Stephen noted, “We believe the most important takeaways from the 1Q14 report was the positive inflection in the CPC decline rate, which was -9% YOY (vs -11% in 4Q13) on what were tougher comps coupled with continued strong volume growth. We believe this is one of the first fledgling signs of the benefits Google is set to realize from the pricing convergence between mobile and desktop on the back of products such as Enhanced Campaigns, App Indexing, as well as tools to help advertisers make cross-device attributions.”

And Ben Kallo, of Robert W. Baird, reiterated his BUY rating with a $675 price target. Ben thinks that Q1 results were actually more impressive than most people believe, because Google was dealing with expensive one-time costs. Ben found that “Q1 results suggests a largely in-line quarter with a seasonal decline in ad spend,” and he believes, “Google remains on track to leverage multiple long-term growth opportunities (e.g., mobile, video, enterprise, local, wearables, etc.)”.

As Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) bounces back from its Q1 report, will these analysts maintain their BUY ratings? To continue following these analyst recommendations, as well as other analyst advice, download TipRanks, and start making informed financial decisions with advice you can trust.

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