Alphabet’s hardware growth adds to strength in core ad business

Alphabet Inc's core advertising business remained strong and its smartphone and home-automation products were gaining traction, analysts said a day after the company missed profit expectations, hurt by a higher tax rate. At least 11 brokerages raised their price targets on Alphabet's stock, which now has a median price target of $992.50 – indicating a 15.8 percent upside to the stock's Thursday close. "From a capital allocation standpoint, we appreciate Alphabet is investing in strategic, promising areas like Google Assistant and hardware, while pausing investment in less rewarding areas like Fiber," Jefferies analysts said.

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