Google stock hits all-time highSeptember 24, 2012: 4:23 PM ET
Google's stock hit an all-time high of $750.04 in late trading Monday, before pulling back to a record closing price of $749.38. The new marks topped the previous records set in November 2007.
Shares of Google (GOOG) have rallied 16% this year, as the company continues to dominate in search and makes strides with its Android mobile platform. Just last month, research firm IDC reported that Google's Android had gained a whopping 68% share of the global smartphone market during the second quarter. That's four times the 17% market share held by Apple (AAPL).
Despite the run-up, Google continues to trade at a fairly reasonable value. Shares are trading 18 times 2012 earnings forecasts, and 15 times 2013 earnings estimates. And the stock is lagging the performance of the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which is up more than 20% in 2012.
Wall Street thinks the stock still has more room to run. Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney reiterated his Buy rating late Sunday, and raised his price target on Google's stock to $850 a share from $740.
"We'd argue that Google is extremely well situated against most of the major trends in Consumer Internet today -- mobile, video, local, and cloud computing," said Mahaney. "The one big miss is social, but even there Google has a play with Google+."
Google is also benefiting as investors realize that Facebook (FB) poses less of a threat to the company than originally thought.
While Facbeook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed the possibility of his company developing a search service at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference earlier this month, Mahaney said it would be "quite different" from what Google offers. Rather than a mirror of Google, it will likely be a Facebook-specific search feature that allows Facebook users to more easily to ask their friends questions.
"Frankly, we believe that the possibility of someone generating a truly competitive search offering to Google has gotten remoter with each passing year," said Mahaney. "Different competitive feature innovations have come along that Google has adopted...But Google's core value proposition -- especially for commercially oriented queries -- appears extremely well intact.
Google shares are on the verge of a stock split, which will create a third class of Google stock, and give even more control over the company to CEO Larry Page, his fellow co-founder Sergey Brin and chairman Eric Schmidt.>
Google's new milestone, which brings the companies market cap to $247 billion, comes just three days before the company officially celebrates its 14th birthday.
Meanwhile, shares of fellow tech giant Apple hit a record high of $707.50 on Friday. Shares slipped Monday after the company said it sold 5 million iPhone 5 devices over the weekend, fewer than the 6 million that Wall Street analysts were projecting.