Alphabet (GOOGL) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $1,131.00 target price on the information services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 8.44% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Alphabet's stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to on a 12-month basis. Its focus on innovation, AI, cloud, home automation space, strategic acquisitions and Android OS should continue to generate strong cash flows. Alphabet has shown good execution to date, more or less maintaining its dominant share in a competitive, fast-growing search market. Its diversification strategy is also positive, but requires significant investment and involves uncertain payback periods, particularly since these efforts are at the cutting edge of technology.  However, increased spending on its consumer gadgets, YouTube video app and cloud computing services remain concerns. Also, increasing litigation issues could continue to impact the company’s profits.”

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A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on GOOGL. Barclays lifted their target price on shares of Alphabet from $1,260.00 to $1,330.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Vetr upgraded shares of Alphabet from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $1,192.20 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 23rd. Deutsche Bank restated a “buy” rating and set a $1,400.00 target price on shares of Alphabet in a research note on Monday, January 29th. B. Riley lifted their target price on shares of Alphabet from $1,200.00 to $1,375.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and set a $1,150.00 target price on shares of Alphabet in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, thirty-seven have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $1,175.34.

Shares of GOOGL stock traded up $33.05 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $1,043.00. 863,042 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,228,808. Alphabet has a 12 month low of $834.60 and a 12 month high of $1,198.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03, a current ratio of 5.14 and a quick ratio of 5.11. The company has a market cap of $701,696.13, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.54, a PEG ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 1.05.

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The information services provider reported $9.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $10.12 by ($0.42). Alphabet had a net margin of 11.42% and a return on equity of 14.94%. The business had revenue of $25.87 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $25.65 billion. equities research analysts expect that Alphabet will post 41.21 EPS for the current year.

Alphabet announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to buyback $8.59 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the information services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in GOOGL. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in Alphabet by 3.3% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,570,476 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $19,123,960,000 after purchasing an additional 662,279 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Alphabet by 3.1% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 18,633,934 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $17,323,595,000 after purchasing an additional 567,337 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Alphabet by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,647,327 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $16,406,366,000 after purchasing an additional 367,634 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors grew its holdings in Alphabet by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 4,308,195 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $4,005,243,000 after purchasing an additional 102,133 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital World Investors grew its holdings in Alphabet by 7.8% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 3,879,982 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $3,607,142,000 after purchasing an additional 280,710 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 34.38% of the company’s stock.

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About Alphabet

Alphabet Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides online advertising services in the United States and internationally. The company offers performance and brand advertising services. It operates through Google and Other Bets segments. The Google segment includes principal Internet products, such as Ads, Android, Chrome, Commerce, Google Cloud, Google Maps, Google Play, Hardware, Search, and YouTube, as well as technical infrastructure and newer efforts, including Virtual Reality.

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