Google (GOOG) is a high growth investment opportunity with a very volatile stock presence. Google stock currently sits near $681 per share, toward the top of its 52-week range. Google owns the largest online search engine, is a driving powerhouse in the mobile technology, and has its hand in just about every other internet related product on the market. We know this. Moreover, its management has shown a great aptitude for the innovation and acquisitions necessary for growth, and I expect it to continue. I recommend investing in Google right now, because I believe it will continue to grow as a company, achieve an increase in its stock price, and create better return on investments. Let's take a look at why.
Google's management has led the company in its acquisition of the social media-expert company Meebo. Meebo is a social platform that supports Google Plus, Facebook (FB) and Yahoo! (YHOO) and therefore connects thousands of internet users. For Google, this acquisition is a step in raising the competition against Facebook. While Facebook's main concern is earning a solid revenue stream from online advertisements, Google's main concern is increasing its user base. Meebo should improve Google Plus, and by doing so, attract more users and eventually increase revenue.
Not just in the business of mergers and acquisitions, Google is also striving to improve its products, by making them more available and affordable for consumers. The company slashed the price of its Google Maps product by 88 percent. This massive cut in price comes largely from Apple's (AAPL) announcement it will be creating its own maps application - no longer relying on Google Maps. Furthermore, Thor Mitchell, Google Maps API manager stated Google has been reviewing feedback, and found other websites were unhappy with the price and restrictions for use of Google Maps. Thus a warranted response was to drop the price for other sites to use Google Maps.
While Apple's coming departure from using Google Maps will undoubtedly hurt the revenue stream coming from Google Maps, Google's cut in prices should save it a little by keeping its map application competitively priced compared to Apple. That being said, I do not see this as a big enough setback to hold off any potential investors.
In what may be Google's best promotional tool to date, the company has partnered with internet provider Boingo Wireless (WIFI) to provide free wireless internet throughout Manhattan from the end of June to September. This free internet will be available at over 200 locations, and is just the beginning of a larger Boingo Wireless rollout plan coming within the next year.
This is great for Google, as offering a free service will allow customers to use any of Google's online services for free, which should act like a test-drive for those unfamiliar with Google products. Furthermore, this free access may create additional value for consumers who own Google mobile devices - whether it is a smart phone or tablet - as they will be able to access internet throughout more of Manhattan. This promotional campaign should add value to the company and its investors, even if it doesn't increase revenue a substantial amount.
Google, of course, does face stiff competition throughout the technology sector. It has been locked in intellectual property lawsuits with Apple for the better part of the past two years over smart phone development. Both Apple and Motorola Mobility, the newly acquired mobile phone-making unit of Google, have recently dodged a very large bullet, with a US Circuit Judge recently denying relief of patent infringement via injunction.
In other words, this judge has determined that neither company will be forced to stop making its smart phone products, and instead will just pay the other company damages for any patent infringement. This ruling is pretty much a wash between the two companies, as they both have massive cash reserves to pay any damages enforced upon them.
Further competition comes from Microsoft's (MSFT) planned launch of its Microsoft Surface tablet. Microsoft will produce both the hardware and software for its tablet device. Comparatively, Google only produces the Android operating system for various tablet devices, including Amazon.com's (AMZN) Kindle Fire. Google will continue to be successful by producing only software for tablet devices, but it may do even better by creating a new tablet device that will compete with Microsoft's Surface.
Overall, I believe Google is a good investment opportunity. Since it exists as a leader in the technology sector, it should continue to thrive through innovation in the software, smart phone, and tablet markets. Furthermore, as long as Google's online advertising continues to be a huge revenue driver for the company, and there is nothing to suggest otherwise, Google will be able to create value for its investors through an increasing stock price and greater return on investment.