Google shares slipped more than 1 percent Thursday after a couple of downgrades on word of a slowdown in European ad revenue, but one “Fast Money” pro remained bullish.
“I’m not disagreeing with taking money off the table,” OptionMonster cofounder Jon Najarian said. “As far as the U.S. advertising market going upside-down and slowing down, I think he’s got that 100 percent wrong.”
Najarian noted that NBC sold out Super Bowl ads before Thanksgiving to the tune of $3 million or more per 30-second commercial.
“That’s not a sign of advertisers not being willing to going out and spending that money. In fact, they’re going to get nearly $1 million per minute for Internet, for the digital stream of the Super Bowl. Now, I know it’s the Super Bowl, but come on,” he said. “If advertisers were hunkering down and hiding, then we wouldn’t be seeing this kind of performance.”
Clayton Moran, an analyst with Benchmark Capital, downgraded Google stock to “hold” from “buy,” citing softening advertising revenue abroad that could spread to the U.S. market.
“Channel sources have told us that the European online advertising market weakened severely in the fourth quarter, and that that weakness will persist through the first half of this year worse than expected,” he said.
Moran held a $700 price target for the stock, but cautioned on domestic ad spending. He also noted that YouTube was facing increasing competition and said Google still sought the right way to monetize its video-sharing site.
Google’s stock price closed down 1.38 percent at $659.01, more than $11 off its 52-week high.
“What was alarming to us were the U.S. indications for the first half of this year. The U.S. marketers are telling us that advertisers are very hesitant, that they’re very cautious entering the year and things are really slowing,” he said. “So, if the U.S. comes in and really starts to disappoint, that really will be harmful.”
Patty Edwards of Trutina Financial said she sold her stake in Google, citing not only the slowdown in Europe but also chart suggestions that the stock price had topped out.
“At some point in time, you just have to take some profits,” she said. “It was time for me to just bail out.”
Got something to to say? Send us an e-mail at email@example.com and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap. If you'd prefer to make a comment, but not have it published on our Web site, send those e-mails to .
Trader disclosure: On Jan. 5, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Najarian is long call spreads AAPL; Najarian is long call spreads BAC; Najarian is long call spreads C; Najarian is long call spreads JPM; Najarian is long call spreads ORCL; Najarian is long call spreads DNDN; Najarian is long call spreads PNC; Najarian is long call spreads FDO; Najarian is long call spreads DLTR; Najarian is long call spreads DG;
Trutina Financial is long AAPL
Trutina Financial is long ORCL
Trutina Financial is long GLD
Trutina Financial is long TAL
Trutina Financial is long COST
Brown Brothers Harriman makes a market in the Euro dollar.
DR HORTON - Deutsche Bank owns 1% or more of this company and has received non-investment banking related compensation from this company within the past year.
MDC HOLDINGS - Deutsche Bank owns 1% or more of this company.
The Benchmark Co., LLC analyst(s) whose name(s) appears on the front page of this research report certifies that the recommendations and opinions expressed herein accurately reflect the research analyst's personal views about any and all of the subject securities or issues discussed herein. Furthermore, no part of the research analyst's compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendations or views expressed by the research analyst(s) in this research report.
Bernstein currently makes a market in the following companies BBBY / Bed Bath & Beyond Inc, COST / Costco Wholesale Corp, SPLS / Staples.
The following companies are or during the past twelve (12) months were clients of Bernstein, which provide non-investment banking-securities related services and received compensation for such services LOW / Lowes, TGT / Target Corp.
In the past twelve (12) months, Bernstein or an affiliate managed or co-managed a public offering of securities of DG / Dollar General Corp.
In the past twelve (12) months, Bernstein or an affiliate received compensation for investment banking services from DG / Dollar General Corp.
In the next three (3) months, Bernstein or an affiliate expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking services from DG / Dollar General Corp.
Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. makes a market in the securities of Western Digital Corporation. Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking services from Western Digital Corporation in the next 3 months. Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. makes a market in the securities of Seagate Technology, Inc.. Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking services from Seagate Technology, Inc. in the next 3 months. Seagate Technology, Inc. is provided with non-investment banking, securities related services by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. or an affiliate or was provided with non-investment banking, securities related services by Stifel Nicolaus or an affiliate within the past 12 months.
Pacific Crest makes a market in the shares of Apple Inc.