JEFFERIES: Google has 'the right pieces in place to win the race' to a $1 trillion valuation

If this were a game of chess, Alphabet’s Google is several moves ahead.

Google has taken all the right steps to get to a $US1 trillion valuation, according to Brent Thill, an analyst at Jefferies.

“We see Google as having the clearest path of any company to $US1Tn, with multiple meaningful opportunities (both near and longer-term) in play,” Thill wrote in a note.

The $US650 billion tech giant has put itself in front of the shifts in mobile, video and cloud computing, setting itself ahead of competition in areas slated for the most growth in the coming years.

Thill has set his price target at $US1,200 per share compared to the $US992.31 where it currently stands.

With software already an area where it excels, Google has launched nine new products that shows the company can offer the best (save Apple) in software and hardware integration from mobile, laptops, voice assistants and smart home devices, such as speakers, TV and its new line of Nest products, according to Thill.

Combined with its artificial intelligence (AI) effort, Google has competitors beat, Thill said. Some reports go as far as to claim that Google’s AI surpasses Apple’s Siri. In various intelligence tests, Chinese researchers found that Google’s AI had an IQ of 47.3, followed by Chinese search engine Baidu with 33, Microsoft’s Bing by 32 and Apple’s Siri with 24.

The integration of such technologies into its smart home devices has also proven a smart move and a sign of a “coherent long-term strategy,” Thill said. Google’s Chromecast devices have entered around 55 million consumer homes, and its YouTube TV bundled subscription services have registered in over 40 major markets.

The company’s heavy investment in the cloud could also be paying off, Thill said. Alphabet’s Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is one of its fastest-growing businesses. It saw 42% of year-over-year growth in the second quarter.

Though Google was slapped with a record-breaking
€2.4 billion (£2.1 billion; $US2.9 billion) anti-trust fine from European regulators for favouring its own services over other companies on its Google Shopping platform, the regulatory concerns are “somewhat overblown,” Thill said. The appeals process will take a long time before a decision comes to fruit.

Thill expects the company to consistently grow at 20%, according to his projections.

Google shares are up 22.25% this year.

To read more about how the competition between Google and its competitors heats up, click here.

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