One FAANG stock went from laggard to leader, and two market analysts see even more upside
The worst performing FAANG stock of 2020 is now leading the pack.
Google parent Alphabet has risen 20% this year. It had gained roughly 30% in 2020, no small feat but lower than those of the other FAANG stocks — Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Netflix.
Citi on Friday increased its price target to $2,415 a share on free cash flow estimates. That implies a 15% upside from Friday's close.
Alphabet bull Danielle Shay, director of options at Simpler Trading, says the company has a secret weapon — online video hub YouTube.
"YouTube is absolutely huge, and you have a situation where with this pandemic, we have seen a rush to online. … This is just a trend that is going to continue in the future. I don't think that we're going to go back to the way things were pre-pandemic," Shay told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Friday.
Alphabet reported YouTube advertising rose 46% during the fourth quarter from a year earlier, generating nearly $7 billion in revenue.
"Google has been the leader in this space, they really don't have any kind of competition — yes, companies can try to create their own avenues, but I do think that Google is going to continue to remain the leader," said Shay.
Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Sandler, also sees more growth for Alphabet shares.
"It can go a lot higher from here, and when you actually look at all these FAANG stocks, I mean it has been among the most constructive names," Johnson said during the same interview.
"Look at the longer-term chart — the primary trend is higher. You're above your 50 [day moving average], you're above your 200-day moving average, the relative strength trend has broken out, so if you're looking for alpha in the large cap space, Alphabet is a name and we would continue to be a buyer of it," said Johnson.
Alphabet has risen 15% this month; the S&P 500 is up 6%.
Disclosure: Simpler Trading holds GOOGL.
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