Not as if there was any doubt, but (Google’s) Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG
) latest earnings report has reaffirmed them as the tech titan of all tech titans, with seemingly no end in sight for their consistent year-over-year growth. Their Q1 results
were released after Wednesday’s bell, and had both topline and bottom-line numbers comfortably beating analyst expectations, the latter by more than 60% and the former by more than 7%. A 34% just-in-year-on-year growth in revenue is a staggering pace for a $1.6 trillion company, but Google’s investors won’t be all that surprised.
This is a money-printing machine that consistently outperforms and shows no signs of growing out of that habit anytime soon. All three of their core business lines topped expectations, Google Services coming in at $51.17b versus an expected $47.2 billion, Google Advertising coming in at $44.7 billion versus $41.7 billion, and Google search & Other at $31.9 billion vs. $29.9 billion.
Share Repurchase Program
On top of these stellar prints, management saw fit to light up a $50 billion share repurchase program, signaling to investors and Wall Street at large that they think shares are undervalued at current levels. Considering shares are already trading at all-time highs after a 40% run this year already, that’s a bold statement to be making and one that underlines the bull case for the stock.
CEO Sundar Pichai summed up the current state of play well, noting how “over the last year, people have turned to Google Search and many online services to stay informed, connected and entertained. We’ve continued our focus on delivering trusted services to help people around the world. Our Cloud services are helping businesses, big and small, accelerate their digital transformations.”
The star of the show was Google’s Ad business, which confirmed the ongoing rebound in corporate ad spend that had been hinted at in previous quarters. With the ongoing COVID vaccine rollout and reopening of economies, there’s a bullish sentiment flowing into retail channels, with ad spend continuing to move more and more away from offline markets. As one of the biggest names in town for running online ads, Google gets to enjoy its prime market leader position at a red hot inflection point for the online ad industry.
They’re continuing to innovate too, with the likes of their still fairly new Direct Response ads already growing to be solid contributors to revenues, and new partnerships with the likes of PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) and Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) are coming online too.
In many ways, Google is still stretching its legs in a post-pandemic economy, as its operating margins jumped from 19% this time last year to a solid 30% now, with net income soaring 162%. By any measure it was a knockout report and the sell-side heavyweights haven’t been slow about recognizing that.
Increasing Price Targets
In light of Tuesday’s release, Barclay’s immediately boosted their price target to $3,000, suggesting upside of more than 25% from where shares closed on Wednesday. They’re buying into the “big share shift for search ads and YouTube from other ad channels, quieting concerns about high penetration into the total addressable market.” Evercore called the company “a COVID winner” and also boosted their price target, with BMO Capital Markets and Cowen following suit also. Investors shouldn’t be surprised to see more upgrades and price target increases hit the headlines in the coming weeks as the numbers continue to be digested.
Shares gapped up to fresh all time highs
in yesterday’s session, and though they saw some selling into the close, had a bid under them again in Thursday’s pre-market session. The stocks RSI is at a bullish 70 while the MACD is still in a bullish channel. There’s not a lot to dislike about Google right now, and if you haven’t bought some already, what are you waiting for?
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