Q: Can I still profit from Google?
A: Google makes big money selling your personal information. But you can make money off Google, too.
Investors who have endured the companyâ€™s lagging stock performance and worse-than-expected results were rewarded Friday. A huge stock rally created roughly $50 billion in paper wealth â€“ the biggest one-day wealth creation by a stock in history, says Howard Silverblatt of SP Dow Jones Indices.
The promise Google still start to pay closer attention to the bottom line â€“ by controlling moonshots and spending â€“ is getting investors back on board. Analysts on average think the stock could be worth $716.43 a share in 18 months, says SP Capital IQ. That would mean the stock, which jumped roughly 15% Friday to $695, could still have 3% upside. But analysts are still upgrading their views giving the companyâ€™s renewed emphasis on cost controls. Colin Sebastian, analyst at Robert W. Baird, has a $720 a share price target on the stock. Some are even more bullish. Saying Google is entering a â€œdawn of a new era,â€ Ross Sandler at Deutsche Bank says Google could be worth $780 a share. Donâ€™t let the enthusiasm blind you to the risks, though. Google continues to struggle with social media, which is quickly taking over legacy search and mobile is less profitable.
USA TODAY markets reporter Matt Krantz answers a different reader question every weekday. To submit a question, e-mail Matt at email@example.com or on Twitter @mattkrantz.