Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) gained 0.8% in premarket trading, putting them on track to open in record territory, after Mizuho analyst James Lee raised his price target, citing signs that Google’s search advertising was tracking “modestly” ahead of expectations.
Lee lifted his target to $1,750, which is 12% above Monday’s closing price, from $1,650, while maintaining the buy rating he’s had on the stock for at least the past three years. Lee said he believes Google website revenue growth is tracking at a decline of 7.5% from a year ago, however that’s better than Wall Street consensus expectations of a 9.0% decline.
He said that while ad spending decelerated during the second quarter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a “good recovery” off the bottom hit in March, as strength in consumer packaged goods, essential products and government stimulus checks helped drive consumer demand.
The stock had rallied 3.1% on Monday to close at a record $1,563.84. it has rallied 16.8% year so far, while the NASDAQ 100 (ndx) has fun up 25.4% and the S&P 500 (spx) has edged up 0.7%.