×

The high-growth opportunities Google was hiding: Analyst

Investors searching for treasure in the fourth quarter could find some hidden gems in Alphabet's new reporting structure, a top Internet analyst told CNBC on Tuesday.

Alphabet is expected to break out more specific costs and revenues from each segment as part of its fourth-quarter earning results. When it does, the technology company could reveal more opportunities than investors previously realized, Mark Mahaney, Internet analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said Tuesday.

Aspects of the core business like YouTube and Google Play have the potential to sustain high overall growth rates, Mahaney wrote in a note Tuesday. On top of these "growthy" businesses, Nest, Google Fiber and even research into autonomous cars could be more valuable than Alphabet's current valuation reflects, Mahaney told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

"If you believe autonomous vehicles could be a super large opportunity for some company — and Google has a good of shot as any other — then you're going to be able to tolerate those losses [from some of Google's other bets]," Mahaney said.

The new umbrella company of Google, Android and Larry Page's kookier ventures, Alphabet's more extensive reporting structure are all part of the vision of new Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat, who joined the company in May from Morgan Stanley.

To be sure, Google is not without competitors. In particular, Mahaney points to Amazon's growing retail presence as a threat to Google's core search business.

"If you think about how Google makes money, it's from commercial searches," Mahaney said. "So the fact that we've got this retail search engine called Amazon that's getting bigger and bigger every year — that's probably the single greatest negative overhang related to Google."

Mahaney was also bearish on Google's cloud offerings, which trail behind Amazon and Microsoft in terms of popularity.

"It's hard to be No. 3 — and a distant No. 3 — in a business as dynamic as that," Mahaney said.

Still, Mahaney's note provides an upside scenario of $1,300 per share for the technology company and a base price target of $880. Those are both above Tuesday's price of $762.59, when the stock was trading up more than 2.5 percent.

"Despite a larger and larger revenue base, Google has consistently delivered 17 percent organic year-on-year revenue growth each and every quarter since 2010," Mahaney wrote. "We believe there are less than a handful of companies worldwide that have been able to accomplish this feat at this scale."

Disclosure: Alphabet is an investment banking client of RBC Capital Markets.