The Google Transition

Jan.20.12 | About: Alphabet Inc. (GOOG)

Yesterday, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) missed and fell hard.

Try $50/share pre-market. (No, that's not CEO Larry Page showing how far it fell. It's him giving a talk in 2009, from Wikipedia.)

In the near term it could easily fall harder. Because once you have failure, the bears come sniffing at your bones, and the nay-sayers question your business model.

In this case the nay-sayers have a point. Google revenues are very much tied to advertising. With so many more ad availabilities through Android, Google's prices fell. Advertisers got a bargain, but Google's revenues fell.

Google should not be all about the ads, and going forward it won't be. Once the Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) acquisition is complete, Google will have hardware revenues on its books, and hardware costs, and hardware risks. As I have noted before, its profit margins are certain to fall.

Whether or not it bought MMI for its intellectual property, Google this year becomes a hardware company, in competition with its own OEMs. Even if CEO Larry Page wants to get rid of it in the long run, in the short run he has to improve results to get a price.

Everyone knows about MMI's phones and tablets, but did you know it also sells carrier-grade Ethernet? Did you know it just bought into a social media start-up called Shaker? That it makes home gateways?

No, you didn't. But you will. Because the quickest, easiest way to boost the profitability of all those products is to stick a Google sticker on them.

But the real reason I remain a Google bull is its secret sauce. Google has the cheapest cloud infrastructure on the planet. Not only did it invent cloud computing with MapReduce, but it has always focused on squeezing costs out of its infrastructure, buying its own fiber, building its own servers from parts, opening windows to reduce heating and cooling costs, distributing server racks to phone company offices.

Google has done a crummy job monetizing this advantage until now. But Page is determined to change that. I believe he will, and that shareholders will benefit. He has seen how Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) monetized its cloud, and just as Amazon went to school on his operations, I think he's now going to school on their monetization.

So if you can find a comfortable entry point in the current Google carnage - and anything near $600 feels comfortable to me - I say buy.

Disclosure: I am long GOOG.