The price target on Google Inc.'s stock was raised on Friday to $682 from $629 by analyst Mark May at Citigroup, which would make him the second-most bullish of the 37 analysts who submitted targets in a FactSet poll. Jefferies analyst Brian Pitz's target of $700 is the highest, according to FactSet. May's new target is 17% above Thursday's closing price of $581.43, and 12% above the all-time closing high of $610.68 reached Feb. 26, 2014. May said although the stock is reasonably valued, relative to its peers, investor sentiment has soured recently amid concerns about Google's competitive position. Despite some uncertainties, there are a number of reasons he believes "concerns have likely been overblown and there is a path to meaningful upside": 1) search may slow, but is far from dead; 2) valued is attractive on a price/earnings growth basis; 3) capex growth and margin pressure should moderate; 4) while a stock buyback would produce limited upside, a dividend increase might make sense. The stock, which was up 0.1% in premarket trade, has run up 10% over the past three months, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 index has gained 3.3%.
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