Technology

How Currencies Will Impact Internet Giants

Over the past quarter we have seen a fierce drop in the euro relative to the dollar, almost to the point of parity. This has acted as a serious overhang for many companies in the United States with operations overseas, hampering their earnings — this even includes U.S.-based Internet giants. Credit Suisse has given some insight into the operations of some major Internet companies that are potentially exposed all over the globe to these currency headwinds.

Credit Suisse has updated its estimates as it factors in the appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the major global currencies. Across the Internet large caps, foreign exchange-driven headwinds generally accounted for a decrease of 1% to 2% in revenue and adjusted EBITDA or earnings per share (EPS) estimates. However this was offset by better-than-expected trends at Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN).

The firm’s top picks remain Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Facebook and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) among large caps.

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Amazon

Amazon is expected to be one showcasing a return to basics in 2015. The company’s operating margin expansion should continue to benefit from the shipping loss moderation, as well as a normalization of the international growth rate. Shares of Amazon were up 0.8% Tuesday, at $385.26 on a 52-week trading range of $284.00 to $389.37. The stock has a consensus price target of $395.58, compared to Credit Suisse’s price target of $412.

Facebook

Credit Suisse considers street models too conservative for Facebook and that they underestimate the long-term monetization potential of upcoming new products. Facebook’s optionality and upward bias to estimates also do not take into consideration the contributions from multiple other products in a growing and stacked release slate. Facebook shares were relatively flat at $83.04, in a 52-week trading range of $54.66 to $86.07. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $92.57, while Credit Suisse has a price target of $106.

Google

Google is expected to continue narrowing the mobile-desktop monetization gap as well as moderately increase capital expenditures. The company also is ramping up contribution from display and other revenue sources, such as Google Play. Shares of Google were down 1.7%, at $539.39 in a 52-week trading range of $490.91 to $608.91. Credit Suisse has a price target of $683 for this Internet giant, compared to the consensus price target of $626.20.

LinkedIn and Yelp

In terms of smaller caps, the brokerage firm favors LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) and Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP).

Credit Suisse is focusing on the ramp up of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, along with its acceleration of Marketing Solutions. Potential price increases in Talent Solutions are also a possibility for the professional social networking site. Shares of LinkedIn were down 1.8% at $258.39. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $290.59 and a 52-week trading range of $136.02 to $276.18.

As for Yelp, the firm is focused on the resumption of traffic growth for its mobile platform and the potential for increasing average revenue per user (ARPU) on greater advertising adoption of CPC-based products. Yelp shares were up about 0.9% at $47.84. The consensus analyst price target is $65.78, and the 52-week trading range is $42.10 to $86.88.

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