You have seen more than one Wall St. analyst call Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) with a $1,000 price target, and one more analyst just went up close to that yesterday. Today we have a word of caution from Oppenheimer.
Oppenheimer’s Jason Helfstein has maintained a rating of only Perform (equivalent of Hold or Market Perform). More important is that the price target is $765 for the Internet search giant, and investors and traders will want to focus on the price here as the stock is up around $834 and the consensus price target from Thomson Reuters is $869.10 for Google.
In today’s report Helfstein said:
We believe the Street is ignoring the negative revenue impact of Google’s toolbar policy change, implemented on Feb. 1. While this will be partly offset by the positive impact of Enhanced Campaigns, the latter will not be fully rolled out until June 1. As a result, we see 2013 revenue estimates at risk by 3% or worse, depending on the magnitude of toolbar traffic shifting to other providers. While the long-term impact of Enhanced Campaigns should more than offset lost toolbar/application revenue, we believe near-term revenue estimates are at risk.
By maintaining the share price at $765 rather than chasing it higher, Oppenheimer’s real, unofficial rating could be taken as Underperform because it is implying downside of about 8.2%.