Google’s Financial Results Today

Lots of noodling about Google’s quarterly results, due later today. Here are some debate points to keep in mind:

  • GOOG is priced at 49x this year’s earnings, people continually point out, more than Microsoft, Intel and HP
  • GOOG is now the tenth largest company in the U.S. by market cap
  • GOOG added more than $30-billion in market cap in the last month
  • GOOG is trading not far from its all-time high
  • GOOG has missed consensus estimates only twice in its 12 quarters as a public company
  • 35 of 38 (!) analysts covering the stock have it as a buy
  • Google stock has gained after four of the past six earnings announcements
  • Earnings consensus: $3.20/share; Sales consensus: $2.94-billion

As an aside, while Google is not cheap, Microsoft, Intel and HP aren’t exactly useful comparisons. All are slower growing than Google, and in slower growing markets. Yahoo trades at a higher P/E, and if Google were trading at Amazon’s multiple of 123 (!!) it would already have blown past my $1,000 target on the stock. (Note: I’m not suggesting that AMZN’s multiple is sane, just pointing out that two can plan the selective P/E comparison game.)

[Update] To give the Google bears some raw meat, the WSJ is reporting this morning that Martin Sorrell of WPP is worrying about an ad market slowdown in 2009, after the U.S. elections. Ooooooh.