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Search engine giant Google's shares at all-time high

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 20th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A surge in mobile and video advertising is being credited with driving quarterly revenue up by 23 percent. Google shares jumped to a precipitous high above $1,000 for the Internet search engine. Sixteen brokerages raised their price targets to between $880 and $1,220, with Deutsche Bank raising its target price by 26 percent.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The shares rose 13 percent to $1007.40 after the opening bell on the NASDAQ, before lowering by a few bucks.

Paid clicks increased by a quarter in the three months ended September 30, from a year earlier, Google reported, the highest rate of growth in the past year. This offset an eight percent fall in average cost-per-click, the price advertisers pay Google when consumers click on their ads.

"We view solid paid clicks growth to be a good indicator of demand, driven by the continued shift to mobile," J.P. Morgan analysts said, who had previously predicted a 21.5 percent growth.

Rival Internet search engine Yahoo, which this week reported a tepid quarter, lost market share in display and search advertising. Strong competition from both Facebook and Google has led the onetime Internet icon to falter and stumble.

In the meantime, Google shares have climbed 38 percent this year, rewarding investors such as Fidelity Investments' $101 billion Contrafund, which added to its stake in Google in the third quarter. Contrafund also enjoyed a big boost from the surging performance of Facebook and Tesla Motors as well.

Managed by star stock picker Will Danoff, stocks returned 8.94 percent in the third quarter, easily beating the 5.24 percent advance of the S&P 500 Index. Jeff Zuckerberg's runaway success, Facebook is expected to report its third-quarter results on October 30.

Is there still concern about Google's mobile monetization? "There is a lot of good to come from Google over the next 12 months," Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital Markets says.

To counter declines in cost-per-click rates, Google rolled out a service in February to help advertisers market through a mix of Smart-phones, tablets and desktops.

Analysts also highlighted Google's ability to generate revenue from its video-streaming website, YouTube, as YouTube branded video-ads grew more than 75 percent in the quarter, from a year earlier, with 40 percent of traffic now coming from mobile devices.

"We estimate that Google's key YouTube asset generated approximately $4 billion in revenue in 2012, positioning Google extremely well for the strong growth in video advertising," RBC Capital Markets analysts wrote in a note.

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