Analyst ups rating on Google, sets price target at $750

December 14, 2010: 12:35 PM ET

Wedbush Morgan analyst Lou Kerner raised his rating on Google to Outperform from Neutral

Google's (GOOG) efforts in Mobile and OS/Browser markets will start to pay off, according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Lou Kerner.

In a research note today, Kerner wrote:

We are raising our rating and price target on Google based on our belief that mobile and social secular trends are accelerating the growth of time spent online and the growth of global searches. Coupled with the increasing global domination of Android, strong moves in local, rapid market share gains by the Chrome browser, and the potential of Chrome OS, we believe Google is remarkably well positioned to benefit from the major secular trend of our times -- the digitization of human life.

Google's core search and advertising business also appears to be running on all cylinders.  Kerner notes areas where Google is beating the field...

  • Fourth quarter channel checks are indicating solid growth in clicks and cost-per-clicks.
  • Google Instant is positively impacting both cost-per-click and paid clicks. (Though Google denies this)
  • Android has continued to grow beyond our projections. (more mobile impressions for Google)
  • Admob is poised to be a leader in advertising against mobile applications (more apps like Angry Birds to add to Google's coffers)
  • Google's Chrome browser continues to add share and functionality. (meaning more control over ads)

Kerner addresses the Facebook "headwind" by noting that they haven't yet ventured into search.  He sees Facebook as a long term threat, though both Google and Facebook will need to be interdependent.

Kerner raised current quarter revenue estimates to $6.2 billion and EPS to $8.21.

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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