Technology

Is Google Becoming Too Complicated to Analyze?

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is becoming a very hard company to analyze and for investors to understand. The company’s most recent split was not really a shareholder stimulus plan by any stretch of the imagination, by our take, as it gave Larry Page and Sergey Brin just that much more control over the company.

In a period when the Nasdaq, Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P are still up handily for 2014, what on earth does a 52-week low mean for Google? At $510 or so, Google’s 52-week range is $506.62 to $615.05. The notion that the consensus analyst price target is nearly $650 just seems hard to fathom at this time.

By the view of 24/7 Wall St., investors are getting more and more confused on how to view and analyze Google. So, what exactly is Google now — and what do investors want it to be?

First and foremost, Google is the number one search engine. comScore showed that Google’s search engine ranking was 67.0% of the search market in October of 2014. That was down 0.3 points from a year earlier, but that compared to 19.5% share of Microsoft and 10.3% share of Yahoo.

How are investors supposed to value the Android operating system? Sure, Google has bitten into the Windows-dominated markets. How profitable is that in the grand scheme of things? Motorola Mobility was bought for $12.5 billion.

YouTube has proven to be a great acquisition for Google. With advertising dominance being present, the DoubleClick acquisition also likely has been monetized handily as well. The problem is the “everything else” under the Google chest. Those help on the surface, but what about the rest? How will driverless car technology, involvement in space, alternative energy, biotech and advanced health care, and everything else play out?

Gmail was considered to be in “beta” for years. Does Google make much off of Chrome, or is it just a tool that helps it in search and the ads that are needed to support it? Drive has also gone after the Microsoft dominance in document generation.

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Google Ventures is reportedly betting more and more on new life sciences projects, and Fierce Biotech just outlined how Google poured more than one-third of its $425 million venture fund into health care and life sciences ventures in 2014. Will Google be a biotech or life sciences player, or just benefit from funding them?

Google Maps have been a greatly used item, and the future there may be much larger.

Is Google Glass really a winner? That depends on whom you ask, but the wearable cam-glasses are hard to envision as a great new multibillion business line.

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