Shares of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) popped over the $800 mark around lunchtime on Wednesday, a price they have been flirting with for most of February.
As recently as Tuesday, the technology company’s stock was in the low $780s and shares closed a few cents above $790. But the stock gained $8 in pre-market trading Wednesday morning thanks to upgrade in Google’s investment rating. Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch lifted the stock from Neutral to Buy and raised its price target from $790.00 to $920.00.
Much of Google’s movement on the stock chart in recent weeks has come as result of conflicting assessments of the company’s ability to monetize its mobile advertisements. It only takes one look at the trajectory of Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) shares since the company went public last May to know the devastating effects that a company’s inability to monetize advertising can have on stock price; shares of the social network have taken sharp dives every time financial data comes to light suggesting problems in that arena.
According to Benzinga, a research note circulated to clients read, “while sentiment on Google has already turned the corner, we are less concerned on the mobile usage shift.” Other factors are at play, but what primarily had the firm feeling more confident is the company’s recent mobile-centric overhaul of AdWords, which will likely lift mobile ad prices higher. That change has led Bank of America and other analytic firms to believe that tablet and smartphone advertisements will soon match PC ad prices…