THE GOOGLE INVESTOR: Just How Cheap Is Google Stock Really?

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GOOG Up With The MarketĀ 
Stocks continue to add to morning gains, supported by a stronger-than-expected Consumer Confidence Index. Shares of GOOG are trading up between 30-40 basis-points, in line with the rest of tech. Upcoming catalysts include continued Android momentum; regaining ground in China and pushing into other emerging markets; updated software, adoption and media partners for Google TV; and progress in other newer initiatives (+1, location-based services, music-service, mapping, gaming, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 12x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to peers and historical trading levels.

Motorola’s Tablet Entry A Non-Starter And Honeycomb Is Crap (Fortune)
Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry estimates that Motorola has sold somewhere between 25,000 and 120,000 Xoom tablets. That’s not so good. He believes that the successful launch of the iPhone on Verizon has “taken the wind” out of Android’s sails. The Google app store is “a disaster.” Honeycomb, the operating system on which Motorola has hitched its wagon, is “incomplete,” “unstable,” has a “poor UI” and is basically “dead on arrival.” Tell us what you really think Trip.

Google Extends Its Influence In Mobile (Seeking Alpha)
Who is the real device king in the smart phone industry? Google is in a unique position. Android is the hottest thing in the mobile phone market and arguably wields the greatest influence in the smart phone market today. The first Android device was released in late 2008, and the operating system took a modest 2% of market share in that year. Now, many reports indicate that Android is the number one operating system in the mobile market.

Google Should Continue To Spend To Thwart Off Competition And Remain On Top (Forbes)
The underlying factor that has been fueling constant growth for Google is innovation. Though some of its products haven’t garnered the desired turnout, this hasn’t stopped the company from experimenting. And why shouldn’t it? It has to fend off its market share from competing companies like Apple, Facebook and an onslaught of private companies. This is contrary to the opinion expressed last week by Mike Elgan at Datamation.

Google Acquires Customer Feedback System (TechCrunch)
Google has acquired TalkBin, a customer feedback system for local businesses. TalkBin offers a platform that lets customers give immediate feedback to local businesses. The five-month-old company was only founded as part of Y Combinator’s winter batch, so this is a ridiculously early exit. There are many similar start-ups, including Skweal and Tello. But then again, one of the founders is an ex-Googler.

Daily Trader: How Cheap Is Google? (Various)
The topic is valuation:

  • Compare current valuations with the five-year averages for earnings and free cash flow, we see that Google has a P/E ratio of 30x and a five-year EV/FCF ratio of 25x. In the past five years, Google’s net income margin has ranged from 19.6% to 29.0%. In that same time frame, unlevered free cash flow margin has ranged from 15.2% to 35.6%. Although not bargain-basement cheap on a multiples basis, Google’s margins and growth profile help justify a premium.
  • What are analysts’ and hedge funds’ favourite stocks? The top of the list is dominated mainly by mega-cap technology stocks. Cisco, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Intel are extremely favoured by hedge funds and Wall Street analysts. Unfortunately all of them had negative returns so far in 2011, but could end up outperforming the market over the next year or two.

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