Boom: Google Zooms 13% to a Record High; Market Cap Tops $335B

By Matt Egan Ecommerce FOXBusiness


Google (GOOG) raced 13% higher to an all-time record beyond $1,000 on Friday as investors scrambled to add $41 billion to the tech titan’s market cap after being thoroughly impressed with its third-quarter earnings.

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The impressive earnings beat late Thursday prompted already-bullish Wall Street analysts to ratchet their price targets even higher.

“It was a solid quarter with standalone Google firing on all cylinders,” Jefferies analyst Brian Pitz wrote in a note to clients on Friday while upgrading his price target to $1,150 from $1,000.

Deutsche Bank (DB) went a step further, hiking its target by a whopping 26% to $1,220 on Friday morning. The new target implies a surge of 37% from Google’s Thursday close of $888.79.

According to Nasdaq data, Google’s market cap surged to $338 billion on Friday, compared with about $297 billion on Thursday. The $41 billion daily increase in market valuation exceeds the entire market cap of Yahoo (YHOO) by more than $5 billion.

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That means Google is now more valuable than Microsoft (MSFT) and is now the third-largest U.S. company, behind only Apple (AAPL) and ExxonMobil (XOM). 

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By hitting the $1,000 level, Google joins just three other U.S. companies that sport a four-digit stock price: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), Seaboard (SEB) and (PCLN).     

The banner day for Google helped lift Wall Street, sending the Nasdaq Composite to its best level since September 2000 and the S&P 500 to fresh all-time highs. 

Google recorded a 36% jump in third-quarter profits as a 26% increase in paid clicks helped offset an 8% decline in the average cost-per-click. 

The tech company's revenue rose 11.9% to $14.89 billion, exceeding forecasts for $14.79 billion. Non-GAAP EPS hit $10.74, easily besting the Street's view of $10.34.

Ross Sandler, analyst at Deutsche Bank, cited a number of catalysts that should continue to drive Google in 2014, including: revenue from enhanced campaigns, local, mobile, display and YouTube; easy networks comparisons with the year-earlier period and improving margins.

Sandler also raised his 2014 earnings projections by 14% and advised investors to continue to add to their positions.

Jefferies said Google remains “best positioned” on a number of large secular trends, including online video, commerce and search.

Shares of Mountain View, Calif.-based Google closed at $1011.41, up 13.80% on the day. That leaves Google with a 2013 rally of 43%, compared Apple's (AAPL) 4.4% decline and Facebook's (FB) 103.68% surge. 

Google’s intraday high of $1,015.46 represents an all-time high for the company, which went public in 2004. Since that IPO at $85, Google's shares have skyrocketed as much as 1,094%.