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Alphabet (GOOGL): The Hidden $300 Billion Value In Google Cloud, 67% Potential Upside

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Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) released second-quarter profits that alleviated concerns about the mega-tech company’s capacity to thrive in the face of challenging macroeconomic conditions. The stock has historically traded at a crossroads between Apple (AAPL) and Meta Platforms (META), as the market can’t decide whether to give it a premium for its monopoly or a discount like META. Alphabet and AAPL have historically had remarkable parallels. I expect the current share repurchase program to become even more aggressive. GOOGL stock is a cornerstone investment in the Strongest of Breed Growth Stocks portfolio. It continues to provide one of the best risk-reward prospects in the market today.

GOOGL Stock Price

While GOOGL rose after reporting profits, the price remains well below previous highs.

Furthermore, previous to the downturn, Alphabet stock traded at enticing levels, making the current decline one of the clearest chances.

GOOGL Stock Key Metrics

GOOGL announced 13% revenue growth (16% adjusted for constant currency), a significant deceleration from last year’s performance, aided by favorable comparables. Otherwise, headline figures may show a fall in earnings per share.

But it would be the wrong message because Alphabet is compelled by GAAP accounting regulations to account for swings in its investments every quarter, even if they are non-cash line items. As a result, earnings per share increased 12% from $1.15 to $1.29 after adjusting for unrealized gains and losses on investment securities.

GOOGL had solid growth across all categories, with Google Cloud seeing the most increase. Although YouTube only grew by 4.8%, based on what I’ve seen from advertising competitors, that’s a remarkable achievement in a challenging climate. Unfortunately, Alphabet’s operational income did not expand much as a result of considerable investment in expansion. As a result, while increasing sales by 35.6%, Google Cloud’s operating deficit increased.

Like many other top-tier IT businesses, one should not estimate long-term profit potential on short-term trends. Alphabet has consistently invested heavily in future expansion, including a growing workforce, raising operating expenditures, and lowering operating profits. Wall Street is sometimes shortsighted in condemning firms for decreasing profit margins when they should applaud long-term vision (assuming the company has a good track record, which Alphabet does). Some observers have expressed their displeasure with Google Cloud’s lack of earnings. However, I continue to expect that segment will post at least 30% net margins over the long run.

GOOGL had $125 billion in cash and equivalents at the end of the quarter, compared to $14.7 billion in debt. The corporation spent $15.2 billion on share repurchases, above the $12.6 billion in free cash flow (and the $12.8 billion spent in the same period last year). In the context of falling stock prices, the commitment to an aggressive share repurchase program is particularly encouraging. It also recalls AAPL in 2015, when it began reducing its net cash position and ramping its share repurchase program. While the net cash position is no longer as big as it once was, I believe that share repurchases are the fundamental driver of AAPL’s recent rich multiples – GOOGL may receive a similar increase if it just continues to buy back stock.

Is Stock A Buy, Sell, or Hold?

GOOGL is now trading at about 20 times trailing profits (adjusted for unrealized gains and losses on investment securities). That is already an attractive price for a firm still expanding at a double-digit rate. However, earnings are significantly overstated due to substantial investments in expansion. So let us begin by determining the value of GOOGL after deducting certain losses.

We should do it because those companies will be awarded a negative worth. For example, GOOGL would have generated $91.5 billion in operating income over the previous twelve months if losses from “Other Bets” and Google Cloud were excluded, or around $76.7 billion in net income after taxes. This equates to $5.76 in profits per share. GOOGL is currently trading at only 18.4x that figure. However, such earnings represent the value at Google’s core (basically search and YouTube).

The corporation has net cash of $110 billion, or $8.30 per share. We should account for this because the firm is actively repurchasing shares. As a result, I believe the company will finally maintain net leverage in the long run. Assuming that core, Google is worth 20 times earnings, a sum of the components value predicts a $33.80 per share increase from everything else, or a 40% increase. However, I believe a fair valuation for core Google is closer to 25x to 30x earnings, or at least $144 per share. That implies a 67% potential upside if the firm continues to develop at a double-digit rate in the interim. If GOOGL can hit the AAPL-like multiples seen in recent years, that aim will have considerably more potential.

The monopolistic position entails both opportunity and risk. Regulators may finally decide to split up the corporation. While I regard such an occurrence as a driver for multiple expansions (the business is being punished as a conglomerate), it may also function as a possible overhang on the stock price. The continued share repurchase program will assist in capitalizing on the company’s persistent undervaluation. Still, impatient investors may not appreciate that fact. GOOGL is a solid buy, in my opinion, since it is one of the finest risk-reward chances in the market right now.

Featured Image-  Megapixl @Michaelvi 

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