My final post re Google ("Yeah, right!")
This article, (http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/002028.html#more), explains yet another specific effort on the part of Google that will change how we use our computers and the Internet. (How far behind can Neal Stephenson's Metaverse be...?)
BTW, Wall St liked the company's earnings report; in after-hours trading, the shares jumped ~$20! Most analysts cheer about the strong results -- there are some cautious comments -- as estimates and targets are raised across the board...
- Prudential moves their target to $260 (from $200) noting they believe Google continues to gain market share in the Sponsored Search advertising market. Google's Q4 net advertising revenue, excluding TAC, grew 127% YoY to $643 mln, significantly outpacing the organic growth rate of rival Yahoo/YHOO. Firm now expects Google to earn $4.32 per share in full-year 2005 (up from $3.67), and is introducing full-year 2006 estimate of $6.08. In their opinion, an investment in Google is, in effect, an ownership stake in a company with maximum exposure to the online advertising market's fastest growing format. Reiterates Overweight.
- CSFB moves their target to $275 (from $225) saying they continue to believe that Google is the best way for investors to play the growth in online advertising.
- Merrill Lynch is more cautious, noting the company reported EPS of $0.71/share is after non-cash stock compensation expense; if this were added back, the EPS figure becomes $0.92/sh. However, reported results included $66MM of tax benefits of which $24MM is nonrecurring and the remainder tough to characterize as it is recurring conceptually, but hard to quantify. Treating only the $24MM as nonrecurring, the firm arrives at an EPS figure of $0.84/sh but including all of the tax benefits as nonrecurring, EPS is reduced to $0.69/sh. After expressing enthusiasm, the management was quick to note that they were still willing to take risks to achieve long term growth. Sees shares as fairly valued and finds it hard to really step up the plate here. Reiterates Neutral.
- Jefferies upgrades GOOG to Buy from Hold and raises their target to $230 from $160 following outstanding 4Q results. Though the co provided no guidance, firm believes that 4Q results provide incremental insight into Google's growth trajectory, which they believe is steeper than they had previously anticipated. Also, they believe GOOG is gaining share in a faster growing market.
- ThinkEquity raises its target to $290 from $200
(The earnings comments were aggregated by Briefing.com.)