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GOOG Recovering With Market
Stocks were in the negative this morning following down trading of European indices, and on higher than expected initial jobless claims. The market is currently recovering trading along the flatline. Shares of Google are up marginally with the rest of tech. Upcoming catalysts include Android momentum on smartphones and tablets; 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 (location-based services, mapping, gaming, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 15x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels and the broader Internet group.Google Not Threatened By Facebook Ads, Yet (The Wall Street Journal)
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Nick Fox, Google vice president of product management overseeing the search advertising team, said the company doesn’t see Facebook advertising as a threat. Google has broad reach, a track record of performance and is very confident in the strength of its own display advertising network. That’s great and all, but the past two years, Facebook’s share of online display ads has surged to 13.6% from 2.9% of the U.S. market, according to research firm eMarketer.
Smartphones About To Become A Whole Lot Smarter (The New York Times)
In a keynote address at the Mobile World Congress, current Google CEO Eric Schmidt, said search would become easier, more intuitive and more serendipitous. What he’s talking about is “autonomous search,” a scenario in which a smartphone might ping a person to alert them that a specific interest (person, place, event, etc.) was within walking distance because that smartphone / application knows the user likes and interests. Qualcomm already has that technology, it’s called FlashLinq.
Google Comes In With A Sweeter Offer For Publishers (Various via techDygest)
In a not-so-shocking coincidence one day after Apple announced rules for selling subscription-based content in iOS apps, Google unveiled an alternative payment model that undercuts Apple’s offering by being more flexible and requiring a smaller share of revenue. The one-stop payment service called One Pass offers two big differences from Apple’s: content providers will get to keep 90% of revenue from sales and publishers will retain control of consumer data.
Battle Of The Developers, Android Market Growing 3x That Of App Store (CNet)
Granted, the App Store is more mature than the Android Market but even still, new data from Lookout Mobile Security shows that the number of Android apps has grown 127% since August. At this rate, or 3x that of Apple’s growth during the same period, the number of apps in Google’s Android Market should outnumber total App Store apps by mid-2012. And Apple may have a higher percentage of paid apps but the number is rising on Android, from 22% to 34% since August (versus a decline from 70% to 66% for Apple). Read more at Business Insider.
Cable Companies See The Looming Threat Of Google TV and Apple TV (Bloomberg)
At the Cable Congress in Switzerland this week, European cable operators expressed their concern over IPTV threats from the likes of Google and Apple. Cable operators can win back customers by providing premium content that users are willing to pay for, noting that the likes of Netflix, Amazon (Lovefilm), iTunes and the rest still make customers pay for content. And that content is highly fragmented. So how do cable operators step up the innovation and become the guide for users? That’s the billion dollar question. And it can’t come soon enough.