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GOOG Up With Tech
Trading was off to a rocky start as a monthly survey indicated that inflation worries pulled down consumer confidence for the month of March, but stocks quickly recovered and are in the positive. Shares of GOOG are up with the rest of technology. 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.
Google Getting Serious About Mobile Payments, Teams With MasterCard And Citi
(The Wall Street Journal)
Google is reportedly partnering with MasterCard and Citigroup on NFC payment technology, using VeriFone NFC-enabled payment terminals to turn Android handsets into electronic wallets. According to the sources, Google would not get a cut of any transaction fees, but instead gain access to an increasing amount of purchaser data. The project is still in its early stages, and would initially be available to Citigroup card holders with either debit or credit cards. The cards would be activated for use with the mobile payments system supported handsets like Google’s Nexus S.
China’s Sina Drops Google As Search Engine (Bloomberg)
Chinese Internet portal operator Sina has dropped Google search service of five years from its website and is now using its own search technology. This ends another of Google’s deals in China after the company said earlier it would phase out its censored search contracts in the country. Google’s presence in the China search market has diminished since it moved its mainland China search service to Hong Kong last year over concerns about hacking and government censorship. Read more at Business Insider.
Is LG Producing A Nexus Tablet For Google? (Boy Genius Report)
Google plans on releasing a Nexus tablet manufactured by LG that runs pure Android software, according to rumours. The tablet is said to have a Honeycomb reference design which, like the Nexus line of smartphones, would be first to receive OS and interface updates. The tablet is already being readied for a mid-summer or early-fall release. Could this finally be the iPad killer? Read more from Jay Yarow at Business Insider.
Group Messaging Is All The Rage, With Google Joining The Hoopla Now Too (TechCrunch)
Google’s Slide unit (run autonomously within the company), has created a group messaging app for Apple’s iPhone called Disco. Similar to Facebook’s Beluga or GroupMe, it allows users to create a single number that everyone in their group can message to reach all other members of that group. According to Steve Kovach at Business Insider, it’s not nearly as good as the competition.
Daily Trader: Goldman Sachs Mutual Funds Are Holding On GOOG (Seeking Alpha)
Goldman Sachs is one of the largest investment firms. Holdings of Google have remained fairly steady, with a 2.8% increase. Trading at a P/E of 21x, Google has a market cap of ~$180 billion. The reason for the hold likely stems from Google’s riff with China over censorship, a battle that will be difficult to win. However, China offers a huge market and any success there could be very beneficial to Google’s bottom line.