The Google Investor is a daily report from SAI. Sign up here to receive it by email
GOOG Up Strong With Markets
Stocks are on the rise to kick off the new year as ISM Manufacturing report beat expectations and data out of China overshadowed ongoing European debt fears. Shares of GOOG are up a solid 2% to start 2012. Catalysts included continued Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide; Motorola acquisition approval and integration; regaining ground in China; resurgence of Google TV (see below); the roll-out of Google Music, social network Google+ (see below) and Google Wallet; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, daily deals, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 13.3x Enterprise Value / EBIT.
Google Looking To Blow Up Your Cable Provider (The Wall Street Journal)
Google is toying with offering a paid-TV service to consumers, a move that could unleash a new wave of competition with traditional TV. The company has looked at ways to expand a previously announced project to build a high-speed Internet service in select cities in the mid-west, adding video and phone service in a mirror of offerings from cable and telecom companies. It has also discussed distributing major TV channels. Android’s biggest carrier, Verizon, is not going to be pleased with that. Clearly there is something in the works to distribute Google TV / YouTube to the masses, but not sure if this is the most effective way.
Google+ Schooling Facebook And Twitter On Retail Buttons (Darren Herman)
Google’s +1 buttons appear on more retail websites than Facebook or Twitter. Google +1 button is on 45% of 20 major retail sites versus 40% for Facebook like buttons, and 15% for Twitter share buttons. The finding is both surprising and logical. It’s surprising because Google’s +1 buttons are relatively new. It’s logical because any smart retailer is going to do whatever Google wants in the hopes of getting better search placement. Google+ also had more than 49 million visits in December.
Get Ahold Of Yourself, Facebook Is Not Killing Google (Business Insider)
One word: revenue. Estimates in terms of the top line for 2011 are $40 billion in revenue for Google, $4 billion for Facebook. And the 10x difference won’t change any time soon unless Facebook figures out a way to insert itself between consumers who want to buy specific products and companies that make and sell those specific products, the way Google has. And that’s a ways off. Commerce content doesn’t come from Facebook or Twitter, it comes from Google, and increasingly, Amazon.
Android Lost Mobile OS Share To Java ME In December (NetApplications)
In spite of its device share, Android is losing ground in terms of actual use online according to NetApplications. Android slipped to 16.3% of mobile web share in December. iOS lost nearly two whole points as well, down to 52.1%. Unusually, most of the loss came to otherwise shrinking platforms: Java ME bounced back to get just under 21.3% (primarily in embedded systems such as the low-cost feature phones), Symbian returned to 5.8%, and even BlackBerry recovered slightly to 3.5%.
Downloads Spike As New Users Play With Their Gadgets (Flurry)
The last week of 2011 saw a huge jump in downloaded applications and devices activated as those receiving gifts jumped right in, downloading a combined 1.2 billion iOS and Android apps, according to Flurry. The increase was significant, as the previous weekly high was 857 million downloads. That marks a 60% increase in apps downloaded from earlier in December, blowing through the billion-app barrier. The US led the pack, with 509 million downloads.
Chrome Could Pass Internet Explorer This Year In Browser Share (Business Insider)
Google Chrome’s market share grew 84% in 2011, according to data from StatCounter. It’s now used as the primary web browser on 27% of computers worldwide. Internet Explorer is still in the lead, commanding 39% of global web browser market share. If the trend continues, Chrome is on track to pass Internet Explorer some time in 2012. That said, data from Net Applications has Chrome at only 22% (which is smaller than Firefox, but still growing fastest amongst competitors) and Internet Explorer at 52%.
The Gravy Train Will Keep Rolling For Google Stock (The Motley Fool)
With Larry Page focused and getting back to basics not to mention bulking up on the patent front, Google is a rare blend of deep value and barely restrained growth. That said, P/E-rich technology stocks trading near 52-week highs, like Google, tend to attract hordes of short sellers. But not this giant. Only 1.7% of the float is currently sold short. There just aren’t that many bears out there in this story.