Alphabet shares close at a record, joining Microsoft and Meta

on Jan27
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Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc.

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Alphabet shares climbed to a record on Thursday, joining Microsoft and Meta, which have continued to rally since reaching fresh all-time highs earlier this month.

Shares of Alphabet rose 2.1% to close at $151.87. Microsoft rose 0.6% to $404.87, closing with a market cap over $3 trillion. Meta gained 0.6% to $393.18. Apple remains slightly below its high from December.

The rally comes ahead of quarterly earnings reports next week from the mega-cap tech companies. Investors are optimistic that a boom in artificial intelligence along with cost-cutting measures, broader economic growth, easing inflation and the prospect of lower interest rates will enable the companies to continue producing impressive results.

Analysts at Mizuho Securities maintained a buy rating on Alphabet in a note to investors this week, citing the company’s “strong position in the search and advertising market and sustained history of innovation and AI investments.”

Alphabet is expected to report revenue growth of 12% for the quarter, according to analysts surveyed by LSEG, which would be the fastest rate of growth since mid-2022.

Alphabet shares jumped 58% last year and are now up 8.7% to start 2024. Meta was the second-best performer in the S&P 500 last year, almost doubling and trailing only Nvidia. The stock is up 11% in January. Microsoft mimicked Alphabet’s gains last year and is up almost 8% so far this year.

Microsoft leads Alphabet in the cloud-computing market, though it still trails Amazon Web Services. In a note on Wednesday, Piper Sandler analysts urged investors to not “sleep on Microsoft Cloud” even as the company’s AI pursuits capture the most attention.

“We’re excited about the promise of Microsoft’s AI first-mover advantage but acknowledge this is still small at 1% of revenue and see cloud as the underlying demand engine turbocharging growth,” wrote the analysts, who recommend buying the stock.

Microsoft has eclipsed Apple as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.

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