Wall Street Blesses Google with Another Upgrade at New 52-Week High

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares see a 52-week high before pulling back, while Baird raises its price target from $700 to $760¬†and increases estimates following positive channel checks. Colin Sebastian, Senior Research Analyst at Baird believes strong click volume was a major motivator behind Google’s rise in both site and network revenues, up 30% and 20% respectively.

In addition to earnings, Sebastian predicts possible 2012 catalysts to include “third-party search data points; closing of the Motorola acquisition; Google+ hitting user milestones; Android market share gains; expanding usage of the Chrome browser; and the further expansion of vertical networks, such as travel and local commerce.”

The brokerage raised its fourth quarter EPS estimate for Google to $10.51 on revenue of $8.4 billion from $10.12 on revenue of $8.27 billion and its 2012 estimate to $44.23 on revenue of $36.33 billion from $43.02 on revenue of $35.68 billion. The brokerage also increased its 2011 EPS estimate to $37.06 from $36.66.

Competitors to Watch: Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Baidu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE), Demand Media Inc (NYSE:DMD), IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI), and Answers Corporation (NASDAQ:ANSW).

Here’s how Google’s stock is reacting to the very successful 2011 achievement:

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG shares recently traded at $645.36, up $2.96, or 0.46%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $645.00. Volume today was 784,960 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,071,500 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 22.00, while trailing earnings are $29.34 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lindsey Grossman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com