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Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai during the Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, on May 10, 2023.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Alphabet shares shot up 10% Friday morning after the company posted better-than-expected first-quarter results and greenlit its first-ever dividend and a $70 billion buyback.

The company on Thursday reported revenue of $80.54 billion, a 15% increase from a year earlier and the fastest growth rate since early 2022, surpassing the $78.59 billion in sales expected by analysts polled by LSEG. Earnings of $1.89 per share eclipsed the $1.51 in earnings per share expected by Wall Street.

Alphabet announced that its board authorized a dividend of 20 cents per share to be paid on June 17 to all shareholders of record as of June 10, and said it intends to pay future quarterly cash dividends. The company said the board also approved the repurchase of an additional $70 billion in stock.

The company exceeded analysts’ expectations for YouTube advertising revenue and Google Cloud revenue.

Barclays analysts maintained an overweight rating on Alphabet stock and lifted their price target to $200 from $173, lauding the company’s balancing of investment with efficiency and capital returns.

“Google is in the sweet spot of accelerating growth, expanding margins while shipping product faster, and returning capital — basically proving the naysayers wrong,” they wrote in a Thursday note. “The momentum should stay strong for a while here.”

Analysts at Oppenheimer keyed in on Alphabet’s accelerating advertising business despite its substantial spending on artificial intelligence, raising their price target to $205 from $185 and reiterating an outperform rating.

Morgan Stanley analysts, retaining their overweight rating of Alphabet, hiked their price target to $195 from $165, citing the company’s core growth durability and “early success durably reengineering the cost base.”

Among other price target boosts for the stock following Alphabet’s earnings, JPMorgan increased its price target to $200 from $165, while Evercore ISI upped its target to $200 from $160.

— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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