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Google Shares Advance After 'Conviction Buy' Report

Google Inc. shares advanced Thursday after Goldman Sachs predicted accelerating sales growth for the Web search leader.

Analyst James Mitchell added the Mountain View, Calif.-based company to Goldman's "Conviction Buy" list in a note to investors late Wednesday.

An uptick in search ad spending in Europe, a growing share of the online display ad market and easier year-over-year comparisons should help Google in the coming quarters, Mitchell said.

The recession has not reversed Google's upward trajectory, but it has weighed on the company's revenue. For the April-June quarter, revenue was up just 3 percent over the previous year. Until the fourth quarter of 2008, the Google's revenue hadn't fallen below a 30 percent growth rate.

Mitchell said he expects growth to return to the high teens or better over the next year, a trend that should boost the company's stock. He raised his target price for shares to $560 from $510.

Shares of Google climbed $14.33, or 3.2 percent, to $458.30 in afternoon trading Thursday.

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