Dec. 16, 2014, 2:54 PM
- Though reiterating an Overweight rating, JPMorgan's Doug Anmuth has slashed his Google (GOOG -2.2%) target by $70 to $600, and also cut his estimates.
- Among other things, Anmuth cites "the transition from desktop to mobile search, continued margin compression, and increasing competition from Facebook."
- The indirect challenge posed by Facebook to Google's ad dollars was raised by some following Google's Q3 miss. Meanwhile, Facebook's Atlas (display ad-buying/measuring) and Audience Network (mobile ad network) platforms directly compete against Google's DoubleClick and AdMob units.
- The ability of Google search to deliver ads directly tied to user intent (i.e. what a user is looking to buy at a particular moment) still acts as a key selling point when battling for ad dollars. Facebook's ad targeting, by contrast, is often driven by previously-obtained user data.
- Shares have made new 52-week lows. Google now goes for 14x 2015E EPS exc. net cash/investments. The 2015 revenue growth consensus is at 17.7%.
Dec. 12, 2014, 11:33 AM
- In response to a new law requiring Internet companies to store their users' personal data within Russia (seen by critics as an attempt at censorship), Google (GOOG -1%) is shutting down its Russian engineering office.
- Nonetheless, Google insists it will increase its business investment in Russia next year, and says it still has "a dedicated team in Russia" to support local users.
- Yandex (YNDX +4.2%) has rallied following the news. LiveInternet.ru estimates Yandex had 60% of the Russian search market in Q3, and Google 31%.
- Google shut down its Chinese search engine (Google.cn) in 2010 rather than continue censoring its results. This week, the company announced it's shutting down Spain's version of Google news in response to a law requiring it to pay publishers for excerpting content.
Dec. 5, 2014, 8:19 AM
- Noting search maturity, lack of product catalysts, and margin pressure to investments in competitive and long-duration businesses like cloud computing and retail delivery, analyst Justin Post says his team's estimates for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) are lower than the Street's.
- Post also cites increased regulatory risk, particularly in the EU, strong Apple product cycle and search contract renewal uncertainty, and competition and reversal in U.S. online ad market gains due to social media.
- Post and team lower their 2016 EPS estimate to $33.81 on revenues of $73.72B vs. the Street at $35.77 and $73.4B.
- Shares -1% premarket
Dec. 2, 2014, 1:46 PM
- In the latest sign that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) remains committed to Glass in spite of recent pessimism about its future, the Web giant has been awarded a patent for a more streamlined Glass design featuring a much smaller casing.
- The patent grant comes in the wake of a Sunday evening WSJ report stating a new version of Glass (the delayed commercial launch model?) sporting an Intel CPU will arrive next year, and that (Segway comparisons aside) Google still primarily views the display glasses "as a consumer device."
- Himax (NASDAQ:HIMX), which has asserted its LCoS microdisplay unit maintains a strong relationship with Google, is rallying on a day the Nasdaq is up 0.5%. Shares fell moderately yesterday amid a tech selloff.
Oct. 15, 2014, 4:45 PM
- Internet stocks are selling off in AH trading as Netflix craters in response to its light Q3 subscriber adds and disappointing Q4 guidance, and eBay slumps after providing weak Q4 guidance and reporting only 6% Y/Y Q3 Marketplaces growth.
- Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) -1.6% AH. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -1.5%. Amazon (AMZN - taking share from eBay) -2.8%. Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) -1.9%. LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) -4.2%. YELP -1.4%.
- Internet ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
Sep. 12, 2014, 11:55 AM
Sep. 5, 2014, 2:14 PM
- The Explorer Edition of Google Glass (GOOG, GOOGL) is now available in the Devices section of Google's U.S. Play store. Before, they were only available through a dedicated Glass store.
- The display glasses still cost $1,500; Google has begun throwing in a free pair of frames or sunglasses that make users slightly less conspicuous. There's still no word on when Glass will see a full commercial launch, which almost certainly will involve a lower price.
- Himax (HIMX +3.8%) is trading higher. Shares sold off this spring on reports Google is thinking of using an OLED microdisplay instead of a Himax LCoS microdisplay in its next-gen Glass model.
Aug. 13, 2014, 10:37 AM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM +0.4%) clients saw a hefty 40.4% Y/Y increase in their July Amazon (AMZN +3.1%) same-store sales. That's up from June's 34.4%, and is easily the highest rate seen in the last 12 months. 38.2% of tracked Amazon GMV was fulfilled by Amazon, up from 29.8% a year ago.
- On the other hand, eBay's (EBAY -1.1%) same-store growth fell to 9.7% from June's 12.3% Auctions -8.2%, fixed-price +12.8%, Motors +8%. ChannelAdvisor sees the numbers as a sign eBay "continues to face headwinds" from Google algorithm changes and a May data breach.
- Search ad-driven same-store sales, which are dominated by Google (GOOG +1.3%) AdWords, fell to 7% from June's 20.4%. While average order value (AOV) grew 6% and conversion rates 8%, mobile growth led ad prices (cost per click) to fall 7%.
- Google Shopping/product listing ads (previous) continue to perform well: They saw 40.8% same-store growth, down a bit from June's 47.8%. Conversion rates fell 9.5%, but AOV grew 8.9% ChannelAdvisor thinks mobile is hurting conversion rates, and that Google is "counteracting that by showing higher-priced items."
- Amazon also rallied following ChannelAdvisor's June numbers. Shares tumbled a couple weeks later due to the bottom-line concerns caused by Amazon's Q2 report.
Jul. 18, 2014, 1:26 PM
- 9 firms have hiked their Google (GOOG, GOOGL) targets after the company reported mixed Q2 numbers, a 25% Y/Y increase in paid clicks, and a smaller-than-expected 6% drop in cost per click (CPC). BGC has upgraded shares to Buy.
- "With now four quarters in a row of 20%+ Web sites revenue growth, Google’s search business appears to be benefiting from a virtuous cycle of audience growth and pricing power," gushes Canaccord ($715 PT). It sees product listing ads, Android share gains, and Google's efforts to integrate more data within search results boosting future growth.
- JPMorgan sees improving CPC trends for Google sites pointing to "more material improvements in mobile monetization, or at least that the mobile pricing gap is becoming less of a drag." The firm's 2014 revenue estimate has been hiked, but its EPS estimate has been cut following stronger-than-expected spending.
- SunTrust is a little concerned about a decline in U.S. growth to 12% and soft ad network prices (mobile is viewed as a culprit). But it's also pleased with paid click growth, and unconcerned about Nikesh Arora's pending departure. Cantor thinks the top-line numbers suggest Google "continues to gain share both in search and display."
- Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports Google is looking to bring Fiber to the U.K. The company suggested on its CC (transcript) more Fiber announcements are on tap.
- Prior Google earnings coverage.
Jul. 17, 2014, 4:12 PM
Jul. 11, 2014, 11:07 AM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM +6.9%) clients saw a 34.4% Y/Y June increase in their Amazon (AMZN +4.5%) same-store sales. That growth rate is well above May's 28.1%, and is the highest rate seen in the last 12 months.
- Client eBay (EBAY +2.5%) same-store sales grew 12.3%. That's a little better than May's 11.5%, and suggests the toll taken by a data breach and Google algorithm changes might be abating a bit. Auctions -19%, fixed-price +18.4%, Motors +10.4%.
- A positive for Google (GOOG +0.9%): Search ad-driven same-store sales rose 20.4%, a big improvement from May's 11.5% and the 2nd-highest level seen in the last 12 months. Cost per click (ad prices) rose 5% to $0.48, conversion rates 6% to 2.81%, and average order value (AOV) 7% to $137.02.
- ChannelAdvisor notes AOV has historically "been a good indicator of consumer sentiment," and that the appeal of Google AdWords for marketing costlier items remains strong.
- Meanwhile, Google's product listing ads (PLAs) keep gaining traction as a vehicle for selling cheaper goods. Their same-store sales rose 47.8%, sharply above May's 21.4%. AOV fell 8.7%, but conversion rates rose 10.5%.
- Deutsche has upgraded ChannelAdvisor to Buy. eBay reports on July 16, Google on the 17th, and Amazon on the 24th.
May 9, 2014, 3:02 PM
- Though Himax (HIMX -12.2%) saw only modest losses yesterday after offering soft Q2 guidance (blamed on a customer inventory correction) to go with a slight Q1 EPS miss, it's having a much rougher time today.
- On the Q1 CC (transcript), management was peppered with questions about whether the inventory issues at a major Korean customer (almost certainly Samsung) stemmed from the customer losing share to rivals. Himax also faced questions about a relatively muted gross margin growth outlook, and the pace at which LCOS microdisplay sales (linked to Google Glass' launch) will grow.
- Chardan's Jay Srivasta downgraded shares to Sell yesterday: He thinks Samsung is "struggling to compete" against Chinese white-box OEMs (previous), and now believes Google Glass' (GOOG) commercial launch could be a 2015 event. As evidence, he notes Himax doesn't plan to ramp its LCOS production capacity this year - it's currently at just 300K units/month.
- Shares now go for less than 10x 2015E EPS.
Apr. 23, 2014, 8:41 AM
- Google (GOOG) and SunPower (SPWR) team to provide financing for about $250M of residential solar lease projects, with Google committing up to $100M and SunPower about $150M.
- The program is expected to allow thousands more to finance solar power systems through SunPower, joining about 20K who already do so.
- Press release
- SPWR +8.6% premarket
Apr. 17, 2014, 8:27 AM
- "Better than headlines suggest," says Baird's Colin Sebastian of Google's (GOOG) earnings results last night. Reiterating his Outperform rating and $675 price target, Kallo says the results are largely inline with expectations, and the company remains on track to leverage multiple long-term growth opportunities.
- "Our view on Google remains positive given the solid growth in the Websites business and multiple drivers that we expect to keep revenue growth near 20%," says Needham's Kerry Rice. Drivers include: "1) the push to bring brand advertising dollars to search and display, which we expect to become an important revenue driver over the next 18-24 months, and we note that an earlier ramp could drive upside. 2) The Android ecosystem puts Google as a preeminent mobile player. 3) We expect a modest but gradual improvement in CPCs. 4) Network revenue growth, while sluggish, should have a stronger H2."
- Calling Q1 a "small bump," Piper's Gene Munster says Google remains on track for steady growth in its core business as it invests in other products. "We continue to view Google as the best long term large cap story in our coverage space."
- Shares -1.5% premarket
- Previous earnings coverage
Apr. 16, 2014, 4:15 PM
- After falling 2% Q/Q in Q4 and 8% in Q3 thanks to mobile softness, Google's (GOOG) cost per click (ad prices) was flat Q/Q in Q1. On a Y/Y basis, it fell 9%.
- Paid clicks (boosted by mobile and product listing ads) grew 26% Y/Y, a slower clip than Q4's 31% but even with Q3. Traffic acquisition costs fell to 23% of revenue from 24% in Q4 and 25% a year ago.
- Google sites revenue (68% of total) +21% Y/Y vs. +22% in Q4. Ad network revenue (22% of total, pressured by policy changes) +4% vs. +3%. Other revenue (10% of total, includes Nexus hardware and search appliances) grew 48%, down from Q4's 99%.
- Google spent aggressively: Opex rose to 35% of revenue from 33% in Q4 and 31% a year ago. Capex was $2.35B (15% of revenue), up from $2.26B in Q4. Free cash flow was $2.05B, well below net income of $4.3B. Headcount (exc. Motorola) rose to 46.2K from 43.8K at the end of Q4.
- Google had $59.4B in cash at the end of Q4, +$700M Q/Q. Its Q1 tax rate was just 18%.
- Q1 results, PR
Apr. 8, 2014, 11:34 AM
- Aided by better weather, ChannelAdvisor (ECOM +4.2%) clients saw a 26.2% Y/Y increase in their Amazon (AMZN +3%) same-store sales in March, up from 23% in February and 14% in January.
- eBay (EBAY +3.1%) same-store sales rose 17.8% in March vs. 15% in February and 12.7% in January. Fixed-price sales +21.5%, auctions -10%, Motors +19.7%.
- Search ad-driven same-store sales, dominated by traffic from Google's (GOOG +3%) AdWords, rose 11.2% vs. 4.3% in February and 10.3% in January. Clicks were flat due to a shift towards Google's Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Ad prices fell 7% (soft smartphone ad prices are a likely factor), click rates rose 2%, and average order value rose 5%.
- PLA-driven same-store sales rose 34.5%. Though that's down from February's 48% and January's 62.8%, ChannelAdvisor chalks it up to "a normal aging of the program," given PLAs only launched in late 2012.
- Amazon, eBay, and Google are all posting solid gains amid a broader rebound in Internet stocks.
GOOG vs. ETF Alternatives
Alphabet Inc through its subsidiary Google Inc is engaged in improving the ways people connect with information & productsincludingSearch, Android, YouTube, Apps, Maps & Ads. Italso producesinternet-connected home devices & provides internet services.
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