Investors who owned stocks in the 2010s generally experienced some big gains. In fact, the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) total return for the decade was 250.5%. But there’s no question some big-name stocks did much better than others along the way.
Alphabet’s Big Decade
Alphabet started the 2010s as Google, and its first major move of the decade was a $12.5 billion buyout of Motorola Mobility in 2011. The deal helped protect Google from patent disputes with Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and helped Google continue to provide its Android mobile operating system. Google restructured its business as a conglomerate under the Alphabet umbrella in 2015. Former Google CEO Larry Page took over as CEO of Alphabet, with Sundar Pichai taking over as Google CEO.
The 2010s were defined by high growth and rising costs in Google’s core online advertising and search businesses, as well as expansion into Google Cloud services. Unfortunately, Google also drew increasing scrutiny from regulators for its data usage and potential antitrust violations. In June 2019, the U.S. Justice Department reported it's investigating Google on antitrust grounds.
Google issued a one-to-one stock split that created two share classes in 2014, so the share prices mentioned are in split-adjusted terms.
Alphabet shares started the 2010s trading at around $313. The stock dipped as low as $216 by mid 2010, its lowest point of the decade. From that point forward, Alphabet shares marched steadily higher, reaching $614 in early 2014 ahead of the split. After nearly roughly a year of trading mostly between around $500 and and $600, Alphabet broke out to new all-time highs in late 2015 on optimism related to its mobile search and advertising businesses.
2020 And Beyond
Alphabet reached its decade high of $1,500.58 in January and briefly reaching a $1 trillion before pulling back slightly in recent weeks.
Overall, Alphabet investors did very well in the 2010s. In fact, $100 worth of Alphabet stock in 2010 would be worth about $476 today.
Looking ahead, analysts expect Alphabet to grind higher in 2020. The average price target among the 43 analysts covering the stock is $1,550, suggesting 4.8% upside from current levels.