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GOOG Up Strong In Rocky Market
The markets are trading sideways amidst weak December retail sales data. Shares of GOOG, however are bucking the trend, up over 1% Upcoming catalysts include continued Android growth; regaining momentum in China; updated software, adoption and media partners for Google TV; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services and mapping, gaming, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 16x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels and the broader Internet group.Google Still rumoured To Launch Mobile Payment System (Businessweek)
In one of the worst-kept secrets around, Google is building a mobile payment and ad service allowing users buy products with smartphones. The service is propelled by Google’s NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, a short-range wireless communications protocol. The technology lets users take a smartphone equipped with an NFC chip, and sensors touch their handsets to a contact terminal, poster or stickers equipped with sensors to make a purchase or retrieve more information about a product or service. The company has been intimating this endeavour since mid-November.
Amazon Finally Launches Its App Store For Android Devices (The Wall Street Journal)
Amazon made official its own app store for devices running Google’s Android operating system, opening up a portal for software developers to submit their apps to a store that will open later this year. The move brings Amazon into direct competition with Google’s own existing app store. Amazon hopes this store will have two important distinctions: recommendations and price. Matt Rosoff at Business Insider says that’s just going to make Android even messier; more fragmentation.
Google Wins First Round In Microsoft Dispute (The Wall Street Journal)
Google won a key ruling in its lawsuit against the Interior Department, two months after the Web giant accused the agency of improperly favouring Microsoft in a contract bid to provide a new email system. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the Interior Department from deciding to use Microsoft’s email and collaboration tools for its 88,000 employees. This is a huge win for Google, but Matt Rosoff at Business Insider believes the dispute highlights Microsoft’s biggest asset as it tries to defend its huge enterprise software business: pre-existing relationships with big customers.
Google And Its Failure In Social: Everyone’s A Critic (MediaPost)
Everyone, including Marissa Mayer, admits that Google can’t get social right. So what is the search giant to do? Early initiatives like Dodgeball and Orkut weren’t linked with Google’s core offering while Google Buzz was overly invasive. Google hasn’t faltered for lack of assets; YouTube, Gmail, Places, Boutiques and a direct pipeline with Twitter, to name a few. The challenge will become to weave together all the apps and platforms to create a cohesive social application. Meanwhile, Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray, believes Google has given up on social.
Rubin Shows Off Android 3.0 For Tablets To Take On The iPad (Google)
It’s time for Google to take on the iPad. Andy Rubin (Head of Android) just put up a blog post with some of the highlights of Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). Including connections to Google eBooks, a special tablet-format layout for YouTube, video calling via Google Talk, multi-tasking, and three-dimensional Google maps.
Google TV Signs Up Another TV Product Line With Vizio (Google)
Google TV Product Manager Rishi Chandra has announced a “new” partnership with Vizio. It may be that without the software delays announced last week, these Vizio products may have hit shelves coinciding with CES. But better late than never. And it’s nice to hear some good news for Google TV after negative press lately.
Daily Trader: Try Hedging Your Bets On Bullish Technicals (Market Intelligence centre)
Google stock has been showing support around $593 and resistance in the $611 range. Technical indicators for the stock are bullish. For a hedged play on this stock, look at the Mar ’11 640 covered call. A lower-cost hedged play would be to go long the Jan ’12 420 call and selling the Mar ’11 640 call.