woensdag 11 januari 2006

Google: the bear case

Some time ago I advised you to sell (or not buy) Google shares. I've had many discussions recently on this topic with both experts and non-experts. Henry Blodget describes the 'Bear Case' and I have to agree with him. The questions is not if, but when?

"The first thing that could happen is that, for a variety of reasons, AdWords revenue growth could slow. The reasons could include market saturation (one of these days, Google will have picked all the low-hanging search fruit) and/or a flattening of keyword price increases (recent anecdotal evidence such as FTD suggests that this is already happening in some categories). Both market saturation and price pressure will occur naturally someday, as they do with every business. The only question is when. If/when this slowdown occurs, what will happen? The stock's multiple will compress. How much? At $460, Google is valued at about $140 billion, or approximately 50X-70X a 2006 free cash flow estimate of $2-$3 billion. If grows slows gradually, this multiple will probably shrink to 30X-40X. If it slows precipitously, the multiple will probably shrink to 20X-30X. Natural forces, in other words, should eventually compress Google's FCF multiple by 20%-60%. (I am comfortable predicting that this will happen. Again, the only question is when.)"

1 opmerking:

  1. Good points. However, in this post nothing is mentioned on (some of) the other businesses Google embodies. At this moment it is difficult to estimate the revenues that will come from those.