Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is down almost 6% today to just above $457. That is within $20 of its 52-week low.Twenty dollars might seem like a lot, but the shares would only have to fall another 5% to get there.
Google traded at over $747 last November.
With the news that internet advertising revenue was up only 25% last year and some evidence that small advertisers who use Google AdSense may be getting pinched by the economic slowdown, the chances of the search company hitting its $4.68 EPS target for the quarter do not look as good as they did a month ago.
Google may have two other problems. Although its share of the US search market is still growing, recent data would indicate that most months the increase is no more than a tenth of a percent. Wall St. also has to be concerned about Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) getting its hands on Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO). Even if the deal is only a marginal success, it could take some of the momentum out of Google’s growth.
Douglas A. McIntyre