Axiom Initiates Hold Rating On Google; Sees 8% Upside For The Stock


In a research report published Monday, Axiom analyst Victor Anthony initiated coverage on shares of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) with a hold rating and a $608 price target, which represents a potential upside of 8% from where the stock is currently trading.

Anthony noted, “We continue to view Google as one of the world’s bestin-class organizations and we were encouraged by the resiliency of the core business in 4Q (Google.com paid clicks +25% YoY). Plus, the shares trade at a reasonable multiple to earnings growth. However, we are taking a pause on recommending the stock until we see how management overcomes a series of headwinds, including: 1) investments in Moonshots are pressuring operating margins; 2) European antitrust investigations; 3) lack of a meaningful social media presence, 4) rising competition for online video ad dollars; 5) lack of an effective payments solution; 7) secular pressures from vertical app search; and 8) potential loss of a search partner. We maintain our long-held view that Google should return cash to shareholders.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Victor Anthony has a total average return of 19.2% and a 72.1% success rate. Anthony has a 7.8% average return when recommending GOOGL, and is ranked #46 out of 3492 analysts.

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