Google Delays Rollout Of Android Beta Version Amid U.S. Protests

Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL) has decided to delay the launch of the beta version of its Android 11 software mobile operating system because of the protests and riots across the U.S.

“We are excited to tell you more about Android 11, but now is not the time to celebrate,” Google wrote in a Twitter post on its Android page. “We’ll be back with more on Android 11, soon.”

Google said that it is postponing the release, which was scheduled for June 3. The presentation of the new software had already been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nationwide protests have been sparked in recent days following the killing of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, by a police officer. The violent riots have prompted U.S. retailers from Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Amazon.com Inc.  (AMZN) to Target Corp. (TGT) to close many stores and curtail some business operations.

Shares in Google have surged 36% since March 23 erasing all of their losses suffered earlier this year. The stock rose 1.1% to $1,433.52 as of Friday’s close.

In view of the recent rally, the stock’s upside potential is now expected to be more limited. The average analyst price target of $1,488.09 indicates shares may appreciate a mere 3.8% in the coming 12 months. (See Alphabet’s stock analysis on TipRanks).

Five-star analyst Brian Nowak at Morgan Stanley last month lifted his target price on the stock to $1,400 from $1,310 and maintained a Buy rating.

“Ad declines are likely to be somewhat less severe than expected and Alphabet is focused on efficiency/innovation to emerge stronger post downturn,” Novak wrote in a note to investors. “While the economy remains volatile (and the pace of the macro recovery will ultimately determine the pace of Alphabet’s ad recovery), [the company] also spoke to some very early signs of users returning to commercial behavior and said that as of now they have not seen a further deterioration in the mid teens year-over-year search revenue declines.”

Overall, the Wall Street rating outlook for Google remains bullish. The Strong Buy consensus boasts 33 Buy ratings with 2 analysts assigning Hold ratings, according to TipRanks data.

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