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GOOG Down With Tanking Market
Stock opened in the negative this morning, as European and Asian markets posted heavy losses today on concerns over the deepening Japanese nuclear crisis. Shares of Google are trading over 1.5% down. 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 14x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels and the broader Internet group.
Facebook Poaching Right And Left; Steals Google’s Dealmaker (Reuters)
Facebook has hired away Google’s director of corporate development, Amin Zoufonou, making him its director of corporate development, where his responsibilities will likely include hiring other business development specialists and pursuing acquisitions and partnerships. The poaching signals intensifying competition from the social network giant and comes in the wake of recently hiring of Google’s chief of sales in Latin America (Alexandre Hohagen) as well as Microsoft’s global head of ad sales (Carolyn Everson). Read more at Business Insider.
iPad Competitors Have “Fatally Flawed Product Strategies” (USA Today)
According to a new study from Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, although this year’s non-Apple tablet offerings are “solid products,” they have “fatally flawed product strategies.” Apple’s iPad fares far better among potential buyers of tablets than those based on versions of Google’s Android operating system. That is partially because of pricing (the iPad continues to be priced competitively), retail channels (Apple stores) and brand marketing. Shoppers also are likely to pick PC brands over mobile brands. That doesn’t bode well for Samsung (Galaxy) or Motorola (Xoom).
Google To Start Testing Mobile Payments (Bloomberg)
Google plans to start testing a mobile-payment service at stores in New York and San Francisco within four months. The company will pay for installation of thousands of special cash-register systems (from VeriFone Systems) at merchant locations which will accept payments from mobile phones equipped with near field communication technology (NFC), like the Android Nexus S. This is good news for Google considering the iPhone 5 reportedly won’t have near field communications technology.
Google Not Launching Facebook Killer, It’s Probably Too Late Anyway (All Things Digital)
rumours were swirling yesterday that Google would launch a social network called Google Circles, which the company has since denied. Moreover, such a product is not even under development, according to the people supposedly developing it. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire. So what the heck is Google working on? Read what Matt Rosoff at Business Insider thinks is going on.
Daily Trader: Where Is GOOG Heading? (Minyanville)
Shares of GOOG have tested and failed the 50-day moving average and are slipping precipitously lower. With shares now flirting with the 200-day moving average, investors have to wonder if the buyers are going to storm into the name. The stock seems primed for some mean-reversion to the upside. Options traders might consider this complex trade: buying the April $570 straddle for $41.60 and selling it just minutes before the close on April 14 (before earnings) while selling the April $610/530 straddle at that point for roughly $21 and let the short straddle decrease in value following the earnings release.