Google Inc.’s stock closed at a record $699.62 on Friday, delivering $66.9 billion to investors in one day – a record for Wall Street.
Shares of Google skyrocketed 16.3 percent on Friday, the company’s biggest one-day percentage gain since April 2008. The increase raised Google’s market capitalization by $66.9 billion to $478 billion, according to FactSet.
The one-day market cap gain is the largest on record, eclipsing Apple’s one-day market-cap gain of $46 billion on April 25, 2012, and Cisco Systems Inc’s $66.1 billion valuation gain on April 17, 2000, according to The Wall Street Journal. The market-cap gain is bigger than the valuations of more than 400 companies in the S&P 500, including major corporations such as Caterpillar Inc. (market cap: $50 billion) Ford Motor Co. ($58 billion) and Netflix Inc. ($49 billion).
And at least five brokerages — J.P. Morgan, Bernstein Research, Nomura Research, Jefferies and Evercore — think Google’s stock will can and will go still higher. After Google reported a sharp rise in earnings and sales that trumped Wall Street’s expectations, they all raised their 12-month targets on the company’s stock Friday morning to $800. At that price, Google’s market cap would catapult above the half-trillion-dollar mark to $547 billion, making Google only the second company, along with Apple to be valued above the half-trillion-dollar threshold. Apple is currently trading at a $740 billion valuation.
“Google hasn’t delivered a quarter like this in a long time,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth, reiterating an outperform rating on the stock.
A number of other banks raised price targets for Google shares beyond the $700 mark, including Deutsche Bank, which lifted its target to $780 from $625; Wells Fargo, to $780 from $760; RBC Capital, to $750 from $640; Pacific Crest, to $745 from $675; Raymond James, to $720 from $625; and Cantor Fitzgerald, to $720 from $625.
BMO Capital Markets was the only brokerage to upgrade Google’s stock on Friday, to buy, but the vast majority of analysts already rate Google the equivalent of buy, according to FactSet.
A few banks kept their targets below $700, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Barclays and Morgan Stanley, which raised their targets to $620, $660, $670 and $675, respectively. Those targets would have represented slight increases from Google’s closing price of $601.78 on Thursday, but they all represent declines from current trading prices. The average price target among 40 analysts surveyed by FactSet is $711.62.
The most recently completed quarter marked a reversal from the four prior periods in terms of paid-clicks growth, which came in above the consensus estimate at more than 18% on a year-over-year basis versus the forecast 14 percent growth.