Google shares closed yesterday’s session up at $566.71 (18x 2010 EPS and 16x Enterprise Value / EBITDA). Upcoming catalysts include March quarter earnings (likely the third week in April); updates on changes to paid search results; Android adoption; and benchmarks surrounding newer initiatives (Wave, Chrome, Base, broadband network, etc.).
Recent Weakness Creates Buying Opportunity For GOOG Shares (paidContent)
Barclays Capital analyst Douglas Anmuth believes that weakness in Google stock (related to China, competition from Apple, seasonality) has created a buying opportunity. That said, while he believes Google will remain the default search engine on the iPad / iPhone in the short-term, the long-term picture is less clear. At this point, retaining search on the iPhone should be a priority. He reiterates his Overweight rating and $675 price-target on the stock.
What Happened To Google Buzz (Zzzzzzz…)? (eWeek)
A research report from Chitika (search-targeted advertising solution) and Google’s Insights tool show that interest in Google Buzz (the Company’s social network app) has declined since its launch when it saw approximately 15x the searches of Twitter. This shouldn’t be too surprising since every Googler was opted-in by default and had to figure out how to opt-out. Buzz searches have since fallen off the map, which is not a good sign for Google in its attempt to compete with the top social networks.
Who’s To Blame For Google’s Search Outages Yesterday? (Financial Times)
Perhaps Google itself was responsible for the search failures in Hong Kong yesterday. The company issued updates which included the letters “rfa,” or in communist terms, “Radio Free Asia.” Google fessed up for the glitch but then turned around and pointed the finger back at the Chinese government. Regardless of the hiccup, if these interruptions continue Google stands to lose its advertising business in China as buyers and sellers become impatient and intolerant.
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