Friday, October 19, 2007

Stock of the Day: Google (GOOG)

My Stock of the Day is Google (GOOG).

Given how far the stock had rallied from its August lows, as well as the high $600 price tag, I think most investors were skeptical that it could continue higher after reporting earnings. After all, expectations had to be sky high, right?

But actually, the pu/call ratio on GOOG had hits its highest level in over a year. So there were plenty who were hedging their best. Anyway, the company reported a very solid quarter, and beat both top and bottom line estimates.

Expenses were a touch lower, despite monster hiring, and margins were up. The company said 3Q sites revenue grew +60%, and paid clicks grew +45%.

I wrote a summary of the conference call for, and said that earnings estimates would be moving higher and price targets raised. I usually don't do price targets, but I said I could easily see $750, which might be conservative. I though I might be ridiculed for suggesting anything with an 8-handle on it.

But leave it to the analysts to beat me to the punch. Here is a roundup of the new price targets on Wall Street:
  • $850 - Pacific Crest
  • $815 - AmTech Securities
  • $800 - CreditSuisse
  • $800 - Goldman Sachs
  • $785 - BofA
  • $775 - Citigroup
  • $750 - Cantor Fitzgerald

If we get the sort of melt up that often comes in the latter stages of a bull market, and if large growth stocks get more multiple expansion, then I think Pac Crest could be right.

long GOOG, GS


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