What Analysts Have to Say About Alphabet’s Q1

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Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) earnings initially looked like a slam dunk after the markets closed on Monday, but as Tuesday went on things only looked worse. Despite beating on the top- and bottom-lines Alphabet still managed to come up short for investors. Most analysts seemed to agree.

24/7 Wall St. has included some highlights from the earnings report as well as what analysts were saying after the fact.

The search giant reported $13.33 in earnings per share (EPS) on $31.15 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $9.31 in EPS on $30.31 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $7.73 in EPS on $24.75 billion in revenue.

Traffic acquisition costs (TAC) to Google Network Members and distribution partners totaled $6.29 billion at the end of the quarter, up from $4.63 billion in the same period last year. Total TAC as a percent of Google advertising revenues was 24% for the quarter, up from 22%.

Paid clicks on Google properties increased 59% year over year, and 8% quarter over quarter. The cost-per-click on Google properties decreased 19% year over year, and 7% quarter over quarter.

In terms of its segments Alphabet reported:

  • Google advertising revenues totaled $26.64 billion, up 24.4% year over year.
  • Google other revenues totaled $4.35 billion, up 35.8%.
  • Other Bets revenues totaled $150 million, up 13.6%.

Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating with a $1,350 price target. But the firm said:

Similar to Q4, Websites revenue posted better-than-expected results but operating margin and profit dollars missed our estimates as Google continues to invest. We are happy to underwrite the higher investments given ongoing Websites revenue outperformance as well as accelerating momentum at GCP.

Merrill Lynch maintained its Buy rating but lowered its price objective to $1,270 from $1,360. The brokerage firm detailed:

At times like this, Google could help itself with greater disclosure to measure positive core business trends. Still, we think core business is healthy, and based on our sum of parts work, we view valuation as attractive. Our SOTP suggests core Google (advertising, Play) trades at 13x (see table 4) vs the S&P at 15.5x despite better topline growth. We are lowering our PO to $1,270 due to lower estimates and unchanged multiples (23x 2019E core Google GAAP EPS plus $138 cash).

Here’s what a few other analysts had to say as well:

  • Barclays cut its price target to $1250 from $1,330
  • Canaccord Genuity cut its price target to $1,050 from $1,100
  • Cowen & Company cut its price target to $1,245 from $1,300
  • Deutsche Bank cut its price target to $1,225 from $1,350
  • JP Morgan cut its price target to $1,285 from $1,330
  • Monness Crespi Hardt raised its price target to $1,306 from $1,280
  • Morgan Stanley raised its price target to $1,200 from $1,175
  • Oppenheimer raised its price target to $1,350 from $1,340
  • Pivotal Research cut its price target to $970 from $,1040
  • Stifel raised its target price to $1,235 from $1,150
  • Susquehanna cut its target price to $1,250 from $1,475

Shares of Alphabet were last seen down 5% at $1,016.80, with a consensus analyst price target of $1,275.12 and a 52-week range of $879.28 to $1,198.00.

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