Yesterday, the European Union regulators handed Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) a record $2.7 billion antitrust fine for abusing its dominant position in the market and illegally favoring its own shopping services over rivals. The internet giant has 90 days to comply or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide revenues of Alphabet. Google responded by saying they disagree with the conclusion and will consider an appeal.
Aegis Capital analyst Victor Anthony believes the fine is largely immaterial given the $92.4 billion in cash on hand at the end of the first quarter and the $7 billion in quarterly FCF that Alphabet generates.
The analyst wrote, “We were more concerned that the EU could force large scale business model practice or structural changes to Google. We did not see that with this decision. Perhaps a more draconian set of changes could come with the Android/Mobile case that is still under review by the EU. Greater than 50% of all Google searches are now mobile (the EU is asserting that Google is forcing handset manufactures to install Google products like Search and Maps or give them prominent placement). The AdSense case appears to be of least importance of the three. Nonetheless, the comparison shopping decision today is likely to drag on for some time if Google appeals the decision.”
Anthony reiterates a Buy rating on Alphabet shares, with a price target of $1,090, which implies an upside of 15% from current levels.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Victor Anthony has a yearly average return of 13% and a 64% success rate. Anthony has an 11.9% average return when recommending GOOGL, and is ranked #154 out of 4588 analysts.
Out of the 45 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 20 rate Alphabet stock a Buy, while 5 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 13.5%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $1,072.83.