THE GOOGLE INVESTOR: Google Continues Shopping Spree With Netflix Executives And Consumer Electronics Search Company

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GOOG Up In A Mixed Market
Stocks are mixed this morning as oil prices rise. The U.S. housing market saw some signs of life with an unexpected rise in new single-home sales for the month of April. Shares of GOOG were up strong versus the rest of tech this morning but started sliding near the flatline by midday. Upcoming catalysts include continued Android momentum; regaining ground in China and pushing into other emerging markets; updated software, adoption and media partners for Google TV; the roll-out and label backing of Google Music; and progress in other newer initiatives (+1, location-based services, mapping, gaming, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 12x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to peers and historical trading levels.Display Ad Market To Increase 10x In The Next Few Years (The Financial Times)
The head of Google’s display advertising business, Neal Mohan, predicts that offline media converges with internet technology, spending on graphical online ads, digital video, mobile and other non-search formats will increase almost tenfold to being a $200 billion industry in the next few years. Google’s display business, which also includes YouTube, is worth more than $2.5 billion per year currently, although analysts have predicted revenues from this unit will be overtaken by Facebook’s equivalent this year.

Google Launches Financial Services Comparison Tool (CBS Money Watch)
Google expanded its product offering with a comparison tool for various financial products including mortgages, credit cards and bank accounts called Google Advisor. It’s really a no-brainer move: Google gets paid each time a mortgage lender is contacted from its web site which can range between $8 – $10. The space, however, is crowded: Bankrate, LendingTree, Mint and others who go the extra mile by providing editorial content and calculators. That said, Google went from being a marketing driver for these sites to a competitor overnight.

Bing Share Is Increasing At The Expense Of Everyone But Google, But That Could Change (eWeek)
Microsoft Bing Director Stefan Weitz has been saying the same thing for years: traditional Google search is failing, or at least has become less effective. Over the last year, Bing has gone from 11.5% share to 14%. Since that time, Google has more or less remained at 65% share. How long can Weitz and Bing claim Google’s system is old-fashioned before people actually listen to them and buy into Bing’s decision engine premise? In any case, Google should take note.

Google Hires More Netflix Employees To Fix YouTube (All Things D)
Last summer, when Google wanted to overhaul its content mix on YouTube, it hired veteran Netflix deal maker Robert Kyncl. Now the video site has gone back to the well for a couple more hires; Netflix engineer Christian Kaiser and product director Thomas Purnell-Fisher.

Google Buys Consumer Electronics Meta-Search Company (All Things D)
Google has acquired Sparkbuy, a small Seattle company that aspired to be the meta-search of consumer electronics. The site, which launched in March, is similar to Kayak in concept because it allows users to search for laptops by feature. Sparkbuy had raised $1 million in capital. Read more at Business Insider.