Analysts from William Blair and Oppenheimer weighed in on internet giant Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and cybersecurity software maker FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE) following a strong earnings performance and Inovtas acquisition, respectively. The analyst covering Alphabet is bullish, predicting future growth in YouTube and Mobile, while the other analyst covering FireEye expresses excitement about the threat management potential of the recent acquisition.
William Blair analyst Ralph Schackart remains bullish on Alphabet after the company posted revenue growth for the third consecutive quarter in its recent earnings report. According to Schackart, “positive momentum from mobile search and YouTube, a third straight quarter of reaccelerating constant-currency revenue growth, and the new segment disclosures all contributed to the stock’s move.” Schackart believes Alphabet’s shares will continue to represent a “favorable risk/return framework” and therefore he maintains his bullish outlook.
Looking forward, analysts expect YouTube to provide the “next leg of earnings growth” which could “potentially contribute $3-$5 of EPS by 2018.” The company’s net revenue of $17.3 billion topped analysts’ estimates of $16.9 billion for the quarter, while gross revenue increased 21% YOY on a constant-currency basis from last quarter. Gross revenue, however, was negatively impacted by foreign currency movements resulting in a $1.0 billion loss for the quarter.
The results from Cost per click (CPC) and paid clicks are “mixed.” Schackart points out that “aggregate CPC decreased by 13% (consensus down 6%) YOY, but paid clicks increased 31% (consensus 22%) YOY. Despite the mixed report, on the earnings call Alphabet emphasized that “strength in mobile was the biggest contributor to revenue reacceleration” and highlighted the importance of YouTube and programmatic (DoubleClick) for future growth.
To note: Gmail has surpassed 1 billion monthly active users and Alphabet repurchased $1.8 billion of stock during the last quarter.
The analyst maintains an Outperform rating on the stock without providing a price target.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Ralph Schackart has a yearly average return of 51% and a 3.9% success rate.
Out of the 30 analysts who have rated the stock in the last 3 months on TipRanks, 29 gave a Buy rating, while 1 remains on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $925.69, marking a 15% upside from current levels.
Yesterday, FireEye announced its acquisition of Inovtas, a provider of security automation and orchestration technology. Analyst Shaul Eyal of Oppenheimer weighed in on the cyber security firm this morning, explaining how the acquisition will benefit the company.
Eyal explains how the acquisition will help FireEye streamline and automate the amount of potential and real threats experienced by the company’s technology. He comments, “With the volume/variety of threats increasing, it is only a matter of time before enterprises can no longer manually investigate and respond to each alert. Routine actions can eat away at well-staffed IT centers and lead to backlogs. By automating routine processes, the time required to contain and mitigate security incidents is reduced from days or weeks to minutes.”
Furthermore, the analyst points to the company’s existing partnership with ForeScout, a privately held-company that connects various devices and offers cyber security protections. Eyal explains, “By combining joint FEYE/Invotas/ForeScout capabilities, the IT manager is provided with unique real-time visibility into existing and potential network threats.”
Overall, Eyal believes FireEye has an attractive valuation and is trading at an unwarranted discount. The analyst reiterates an Outperform rating on the stock with a $39 price target.
According to TipRanks, Shaul Eyal is a top-ranked analyst with a 57% success rate recommending stocks and +9.9% average return per rating. According to the analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 10 are bullish on FEYE while 8 remain neutral. The average 12-month price target between these 18 analysts is $28.35, marking over a 100% potential upside to current levels.