As Americans become ever more dependent on the Internet for everything from business to social needs, the top Internet companies continue their march to stay number one in their respective fields. The Internet Services research team at UBS has completed numerous one-on-one meetings with the top companies and have come to one conclusion. The best keep getting better.
In a new research report out Thursday, the UBS team highlights not only the stocks on their Key Call list of top stocks to buy, but other top companies making a huge impact on the Internet space as we close out the year and head to 2014. One thing is for sure, the American public is starting to expect everything to be faster, smaller, easier to use and more. The top companies to buy remain keenly aware of that.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) remains the top Internet retail name and is on the Key Call list as well. The company expects continued e-commerce success this holiday season, while growing its powerful brand even more next year and beyond. The UBS price target for the stock is $400, the same as the Thomson/First Call estimate. Amazon closed Wednesday at $362.57.
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) is having an awesome second half of the year. UBS reports that one out of every three video games sold is an EA title. With the release of the new gaming consoles from Microsoft and Sony, the holiday shopping season could prove to be the best in years for the company. The consensus price target for the stock is posted at $29. EA closed Wednesday at $23.
Expedia Inc. (EXPE) has absolutely exploded price-wise this year, and more gains are expected. The company provides travel products and services to leisure and corporate travelers, offline retail travel agents and travel service providers through a portfolio of brands, including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, Expedia Affiliate Network, Classic Vacations, Expedia Local Expert, Egencia, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, eLong and Venere.com. Investors are paid a 1% dividend. The consensus price target for the stock is $63.40. Expedia closed Wednesday at $61.11.
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Facebook Inc. (FB) has had an outstanding year, and it may be poised to do even better in 2014. The rapid increase of mobile advertising sales has put a strong wind at the company's back. Plus, the company has no viable challenger to threaten its 1.1 billion captive user base. The consensus price target for the social media giant is $60. Facebook closed Wednesday at $46.43.
Google Inc. (GOOG) continues to be the undisputed Internet leader, and it is also a member of the UBS Key Call list of top stocks to buy. The company is preparing a rollout of its ultra-fast Google Fiber content and Internet product in Austin, Texas, over the course of 2014. With super-fast speeds and lower content pricing, the company could one day also dominate that field. The UBS price target for the stock is $1,100, and the consensus target is posted at $1,100 also. Google closed Wednesday at $1,022.31.
LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) continues to be the go-to site for people looking to increase their professional exposure. Despite a sky-high price and soaring multiples, the company dominates the professional and career space. As business becomes more and more comfortable using the platform, advertising sales should continue to grow. The consensus price target for the stock is $270. LinkedIn closed Wednesday at $216.19.
Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) continues to dominate the online travel industry. The company was added to the Goldman Sachs Conviction Buy List Wednesday, and the Wall Street firm posted an astounding $1,500 price target for the stock. The consensus price target is $1,205. Priceline closed Wednesday at $1,147.09.
TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) is looking to make the mobile booking experience the easiest in the travel industry. The company launched apps for Android and iOS in early October that help eliminate pop-up windows that crowd the app for each advertiser link. The consensus price target for this top travel competitor is $80. The stock closed Wednesday above that level at $87.13.
The consumer reliance on all things Internet is one of the fastest growing areas in American business. It is also an area that will continue to grow long after 2014. The top companies in the field have the technological savvy and the deep pockets to keep up the innovation and acquisition process. That means there is a very good chance the leaders will remain the leaders for years to come.
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