Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) may have a bit of controversy over privacy issues under PRISM and under the company still apparently trying to create a watered down share class. But now Google suddenly has a new street-high price target from Wall Street analysts. The firm CLSA, part of France’s Crédit Agricole, reiterated its “Buy” rating on Google on Wednesday. What stands out the most is that the price target was raised to $1,100 from $1,000 and CLSA was already among the most bullish firms regarding Google stock.
Investors should know that the consensus price target is just over $935, only a few percentage points above the $904 share price on Wednesday. The prior street-high according to Thomson Reuters was $1,030. Now that new high is $1,100 for Google stock.
CLSA’s main focus is that Google is making progress on monetizing mobile internet use. Trust this from an internet publisher that monetizing mobile web use is the biggest challenge for any company, website, or product at this time. Mobile use of internet is currently worth only a tiny fraction of a desktop internet user. The problem is magnified when internet use keeps growing on smart phones and tablets as consumers are not buying new desktop or laptop computers.
This is at least a bit surprising to see the target raised this much because CLSA also sees a drop in search ad spending growth. That trend is expected to last into the summer as well. The firm admits that it is still too early to expect a serious boost from mobile and enhanced campaigns, although the cost per click should rise in the future from the effort.
Google shares are up almost $3.50 and just above $904, while the 52-week trading range is $557.21 to $920.60. The implied upside to Google’s stock price is only 3.4% to the consensus price target. The prior street high target of $1,030 implied upside of almost 14% and the new street-high $1,100 price target implies top upside of more than 21%.