February 26, 2008 / 4:48 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-UBS cuts Google price target

(Changes source; adds analyst’s comments and share movement)

Feb 26 (Reuters) - UBS cut its price target on Google Inc (GOOG.O) after U.S. paid-search data for January showed Google’s sponsored clicks, the basis for its advertising revenue, fell 7 percent sequentially, and shares of the Web search giant tumbled more than 8 percent.

Google’s January sponsored clicks were flat on a year-over-year basis, while rival Yahoo Inc’s YHOO.O paid clicks rose 15 percent, according to data from Internet research provider comScore. Yahoo’s sponsored clicks fell 1 percent sequentially.

“While Google’s search volumes were decent (up 39 percent year-on-year), actual paid clicks were flat...continuing a decidedly negative trend,” analyst Benjamin Schachter said in a note.

The analyst cut his price target on the stock to $590 from $650, while continuing to rate it “buy.”

Without meaningful monetization improvements and new revenue streams, near-term numbers for Google are at risk, Schachter said.

BMO Capital Markets also cut its target on Google’s stock to $590 from $690, theflyonthewall.com reported. Reuters could not immediately verify the report.

Shares of Google fell to a low of $446.85, before recovering some of the losses to trade down about $35 at $451.10 in morning trade on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Tenzin Pema in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)

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