Alphabet’s latest quarterly results left some analysts questioning whether investors should be buying the dominant search engine right now, or opting instead for some of its tech peers. “If you own the stock, the bad news is probably out of the way,” said Bernstein analyst Mark Shmulik. “If you don’t, there’s little reason to step in here. We take up our ad revenue estimates, pull cloud and margins down, and we end up right back where we started.” GOOGL 1D mountain Alphabet drops on disappointing cloud results The Google parent’s third-quarter results topped expectations on the the top and bottom lines but its cloud segment fell short of estimates , a contrast with Microsoft ‘s opposing cloud business that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Profit margins contracted and the company also said it expects capital spending to increase in the fourth quarter and in 2024. An acceleration in its search and YouTube businesses were bright spots in the latest report. Alphabet sank 9.8% in midday trading Wednesday, on pace for its worst one-day decline since March 2020. While analysts by and large did not ditch their buy-equivalent investment opinions on the stock post-earnings, with many remaining bullish long term, some Wall Street shops trimmed their price targets, saying investors may want to consider other internet stocks at these prices. Wells Fargo’s Ken Gawrelski, for example, reiterated his equal weight rating on Alphabet but said the risk/reward appears more favorable elsewhere. “Even if Google maintains search leadership, we do not expect the company to replicate its prior prosperity in the next decade,” he wrote. Others also advised looking elsewhere. “We continue to prefer AMZN and META in the mega cap space, where we see more potential upside to estimates and multiples,” said UBS analyst Lloyd Walmsley. He maintained his neutral rating on Alphabet, expecting shares to be “somewhat range bound” given the lack of details surrounding how generative artificial intelligence integration into the search business will affect costs and sales. UBS’ unchanged $150 price target implies about 8% upside from Tuesday’s close. Gawrelski expects analysts’ earnings estimates to come down following the results, and sees Alphabet’s transition to a more conversational search engine fueling “significant uncertainty” and headwinds to the medium-term search outlook. Despite the latest quarter and souring sentiment on Wall Street — Alphabet has fallen some 11% since touching a 52-week high less than two weeks ago — other analysts viewed Wednesday’s slump as a potential buying opportunity. Bank of America’s Justin Post highlighted that the company’s core business trades at an attractive discount to the S & P 500. “Post the opex reset, we like the setup into FY24 given easier comps on advertising and positive margin mix shift,” said Mizuho analyst James Lee. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.