GOOGL Stock Analyst Worried About Probe Rumors

Evercore ISI analyst Kevin Rippey wasted no time reacting to the news

by Emma Duncan

Published on Jun 3, 2019 at 12:39 PM

Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) are tanking this afternoon, last seen down 6.2% at $1,039.03, after news broke that the U.S. Justice Department (DoJ) is allegedly planning an antitrust probe into the tech giant. In response, Evercore ISI was quick to slam GOOGL with a Street-low price-target cut to $1,200 from $1,250, analyst Kevin Rippey saying the investigation is already interrupting "concerns of an abrupt revenue slowdown last quarter."

A bear note of any sort is a rarity for the Google parent. As of Friday's close, 24 of 26 covering analyst carried "buy" or "strong buy" recommendations, with zero "sells" on the books. Plus, the stock's average 12-month price target of $1,341.26 stands at a 28.6% premium to current levels.

Meanwhile, options traders have been buzzing on Alphabet stock. The December 940 put is most popular, with nearly 1,654 contracts traded, while closely behind is the December 1,200 call. This afternoon, GOOGL has already seen roughly 23,000 puts and 23,000 calls change hands -- twice its expected volume. What's more, both put and call volume are ranking above the 90th percentile of their annual range.

Alphabet stock is now pacing toward its lowest close since Jan. 3, and has suffered its fourth bear gap since touching its April 29 record peak $1,296.98. Today's losses have been just enough to send GOOGL back below its year-to-date breakeven point.

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