Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday, January 16th. The brokerage currently has $1,266.00 price target on the information services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Alphabet's stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to on a 12-month basis. Alphabet's strong advertising revenues and improving paid click growth remain the growth drivers. 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, increasing litigation issues could continue to impact the company’s profits.”

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on GOOGL. SunTrust Banks cut their price objective on shares of Alphabet from $1,250.00 to $1,180.00 in a research report on Monday, January 15th. Vetr upgraded shares of Alphabet from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $1,179.78 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, January 8th. Cowen upped their price target on shares of Alphabet from $1,150.00 to $1,230.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Robert W. Baird restated a buy rating and issued a $1,150.00 price target on shares of Alphabet in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Pivotal Research restated a hold rating and issued a $990.00 price target on shares of Alphabet in a report on Sunday, October 29th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, thirty-nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $1,157.02.

Alphabet (GOOGL) traded up $38.56 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $1,046.27. 4,920,000 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,120,000. The company has a current ratio of 5.14, a quick ratio of 5.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03. Alphabet has a 52 week low of $824.30 and a 52 week high of $1,198.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $724,120.00, a P/E ratio of 58.26, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 0.95.

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The information services provider reported $9.70 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $10.12 by ($0.42). Alphabet had a net margin of 11.42% and a return on equity of 14.94%. The firm had revenue of $25.87 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $25.65 billion. sell-side analysts anticipate that Alphabet will post 42.51 EPS for the current year.

Alphabet announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to buyback $8.59 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the information services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vestpro Financial Partners Inc. dba CPF Texas purchased a new position in shares of Alphabet in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $108,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in shares of Alphabet in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $102,000. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Alphabet in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $123,000. Lee Financial Co raised its position in shares of Alphabet by 500.0% in the 4th quarter. Lee Financial Co now owns 120 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parkside Financial Bank & Trust raised its position in shares of Alphabet by 39.6% in the 2nd quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 127 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 36 shares during the last quarter. 33.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Alphabet

Alphabet Inc is a holding company. The Company’s businesses include Google Inc (Google) and its Internet products, such as Access, Calico, CapitalG, GV, Nest, Verily, Waymo and X. The Company’s segments include Google and Other Bets. The Google segment includes its Internet products, such as Search, Ads, Commerce, Maps, YouTube, Google Cloud, Android, Chrome and Google Play, as well as its hardware initiatives.

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