Google is in the everyday fabric of millions of lives, yet its earningslast week showed a company in trouble.
In order to keep its dominant position, the search giant must continue to pay for talent, something that is already weighing on the bottom line. It's stranglehold on search is coming under attack by rivals such as Microsoft's Bing. In fact, according to ComScore, Google's share of the search market was down more than one percent from May to June.
But does a stock with such brand recognition warrant another look at these cheaper prices, as this weekend's Barron's suggested?
My call to action is simple: no.
I'd be wary of Google at these so called "bargain" prices. In fact, Google might be one of the pricier items in the bargain bin, and here's why.
Mature growth stocks need a second stage of accelerated revenue to stir investor excitement. Right now, Google is attempting to generate enthusiasm by expanding in other countries, but so far, that approach could spell trouble: One-third of all Google revenue comes from Europe, so the slowdown there could crimp Google's growth in the quarters to come.
Ironically, one of the most innovative companies of the last century appears, well, stagnant. It's bread-and-butter advertising revenue has slowed over the last two quarters, and the company hasn't made serious inroads in either diversifying its revenue stream or monetizing its assets.
Everyone uses its email service, but Google gives it out for free. And how many hours do you spend on YouTube? Yet the company can't make money off it.
While some see a global powerhouse, I see a company in "no-man's" land, its stock is neither cheap enough to attract traditional value investors, nor growing fast enough to attract growth investors.
Google is in stock purgatory, and for good reason. Sadly, it may stay there for a while.
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