Shares of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), the No. 1 search engine, eased in Friday trading despite announcing an initial stock split and some analyst price upgrades.
By the close, Google shares had fallen $26.41 to $624.60, or about 4 percent, following Thursday's 2.4 percent climb ahead of the first-quarter earnings announcement.
The company reported net income jumped 60 percent, to $2.89 billion, of $8.88 a share, from $1.8 billion, or $5.59 a share, a year earlier. Revenue surged 24 percent to $10.65 billion.
As well, CEO Larry Page, 39, announced the Mountain View, Calif., company will seek shareholder approval for a 2-for-1 stock split at its June annual meeting. Current shareholders will receive a new share, without voting rights, which will leave the current leadership, including co-founder Sergey Brin, 38, and Chairman Eric Schmidt, 56, in control of the company.
The news and bullish prospects led some analysts to raise their price targets for the stock. At Jefferies, analyst Youseff Squali boosted his price target to $850 from $825 noting very healthy demand for online advertising and ecommerce so far in 2012.
At Deutsche Bank, analyst Lloyd Walmsley raised his target to $680 from $649. Google had previously traded as high as $670.25.
Analysts raised questions over how Google will ultimately handle its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings (NYSE: MMI), which is finally expected to close this quarter after receiving its final approval, from Chinese regulators. Page, in an investor call, said the enlarged Google welcomes having more platforms for search, advertising and reaching customers.
As well, Page, said he was bullish about prospects for the company's Android OS for tablets and smartphones. We love tablets, he said.
Apple shares fell $17.54 to $605.23 on Friday.