Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) has dropped more than 20% since the beginning of April and now sits almost 27% below the all-time high it reached in late 2021. The retreat has come amid fears of a slowing economy and as rising interest rates have put pressure on valuations in the tech sector.
Still, with the stock sitting just above its 52-week low, several analysts have identified the search giant as a potential safe haven in a challenging economic time. Has GOOGL become a buy?
Coming Off a Pandemic High
Google (GOOG)(GOOGL) rose steadily from March 2020, right after the onset of the pandemic, into November of 2021. The increase of online use during the COVID lockdowns and the general advance in the stock market, fueled by stimulus checks and low interest rates, pushed GOOGL to an all-time high of $3,030.93.
However, the stock began to wobble late in 2021 as the prospect of higher interest rates weighed on the equity market, with the tech sector among the hardest hit. However, GOOGL held up better than many of the other players in the sector during early 2020, buoyed by high profitability and a well-established reputation.
As late as April 4, GOOGL recorded a close of $2,859.43. This was less than 6% off its all-time high.
Since then, the stock has succumbed to selling pressure. Last week, this steady decline brought shares to a 52-week low of $2,116. GOOGL bounced off this level in Monday's intraday trading, reaching $2,233.33 at about 2:15 p.m. ET.
Is GOOGL a Buy?
Even as GOOGL has retreated in recent months, some Wall Street experts have flagged the stock as a potential safe haven. For instance, Citi included the name on its list of quality growth stocks poised to outperform during a rate-hike cycle and amid the risk of recession.
These opinions echoed the nearly universal bullish attitude on Wall Street as a whole. In fact, all 51 analysts surveyed by Seeking Alpha hold a Strong Buy or Buy rating on the stock.
The average price target of Wall Street analysts current sits at $3,262.12. This would take the stock to a new all-time high. It also represents a rally of almost 47% from current levels.
Quantitative measures also point to strong upside prospects, with Seeking Alpha's Quant Ratings giving the stock a Buy recommendation. While GOOGL gets a D grade for valuation, it scores an A+ for profitability and a solid B for momentum. The stock receives a B- for growth.
For more on GOOGL's prospects, read a deep dive by SA contributor Benjamin Halliburton, who calls the stock "attractive after pullback."