Wedbush's James Dix cut his rating on Alphabet last month to a "sell," citing emerging competition that Google faces in search advertising.
Among Wall Street analysts, Dix is on an island. Some 42 of the 46 analysts (91 percent) tracked by FactSet recommend buying the stock, while three say investors should hold on to it.
The more popular view was expressed by Pivotal Research Group's Brian Wieser, who wrote this month that Google and Facebook are "unambiguously the hegemonic players in digital advertising." Wieser's $1,090 price target is the highest on Wall Street. Dix's is the lowest at $700.
Alphabet shares have gained 6.5 percent this year, closing on Tuesday at $828.55. Heading into its third-quarter earnings report on Thursday, Alphabet's stock market capitalization of $562 billion trails only Apple among the world's most valuable companies.
Once at risk of losing ground in the transition from web to mobile, Google has solidified its digital dominance through the Android operating system, growth of YouTube and investments in smartphone apps for maps, e-mail and photo storage. Meanwhile, Google commands over 95 percent of the global mobile search market, according to NetMarketShare, an even higher level of control than it has on desktops.
Revenue probably climbed 18 percent to $22.05 billion in the period from $18.7 billion a year earlier, according to the average estimate in a Thomson Reuters survey. Earnings, excluding some items, likely increased to $8.63 a share from $7.35.