Alphabet stock surges as BofA says buzz about ChatGPT hasn’t hurt Google

By Emily Bary

According to analysts, traffic on the Google website has been stable lately

Alphabet Inc. shares were up 2% in Monday morning trade and are on course to close at a fresh 52-week high, continuing their strong recent rally.

Shares of Google parent company (GOOGL)(GOOGL) are up more than 40% since closing at $89.13 on Feb. 24 amid Wall Street concerns over the rise of ChatGPT, its parent company microsoft corp (MSFT) as an investor counts . Investors feared that Google could lose market share to Bing, Microsoft’s search engine.

Read: Microsoft shared some numbers on AI-powered search. Here’s what the company says.

Alphabet has recently reassured Wall Street about its own artificial intelligence initiatives, and one analyst stressed Monday that the ChatGPT craze doesn’t appear to be having a major impact on its core Google search business.

Learn more: The Google developer conference is all about AI

Justin Post, an analyst at BofA Securities, wrote in a note to clients Monday that third-party web traffic data shows “stable” traffic for Google through May 17, “while Bing has slowed down and ChatGPT traffic appears to be flagging.” .”

Bing downloads are higher than before the late April spike, he noted, “although Google’s global downloads are stable, suggesting Bing activity is incremental.”

Notably, this traffic data predates the launch of a ChatGPT iOS app on May 18, although data up to May 20 showed 710,000 downloads of the app in the first three days.

“We believe traffic data for the ChatGPT app will be important for Google sentiment and our interpretation of the early data is that there is early interest in the app but no evidence of any impact on Google traffic yet ‘ Justin Post, an analyst at BofA Securities, wrote in a note to clients on Monday. “ChatGPT is still not able to provide answers to current events or support external links like search, which we believe are advantages for Google.”

Post was also encouraged by a report last week stating that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has completed an internal review on whether to replace Google with Bing as the default search engine in its native mobile web app.

“We believe that the benefits of performance, monetization, and operating system ecosystem for Google’s Android partners should help keep the app as the standard for search,” Post wrote. “We continue to view Google’s search distribution as one of the three pillars (alongside superior data and AI capabilities) for our claim that AI integration will increasingly positively impact Google’s market position.”

-Emily Bary

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5/22/23 1122ET

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