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On Barrons’ Analysis of Google $500

Pretty good, actually, although it’s hard to be agog and appalled about a 37-times-forward earnings multiple (43-times if you include the stuff that analysts should be including).  The key point in the article, which many Google boosters miss, is that continued deceleration will lead to continued multiple compression, regardless of how amazing a company Google is.

40-ish times earnings/cash flow for a steady-state 40%-plus grower is fine, but in the face of ongoing deceleration, the 40x could easily go to 30x or 25x–or, worse, if Fred Hickey and others are right and American consumers are finally deciding not to buy everything they see.  Even a 30-times multiple would put Google under $400 again.

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