Misses are coming with greater frequency at Google, but this one was easy to see coming. Even if Google runs a slick online advertising platform that provides great leads and immediate accountability, it's ultimately still an advertising company. Lenders and car companies that used to spend aggressively in marketing a year or two ago are cutting back across the board.
Still, I challenge anyone to prove that a company that still managed to squeeze out a 30% boost in quarterly earnings under that cruel climate can be a bust. Google is still the real deal in paid search. Analyst expectations are the problem. Google has now missed Wall Street's guesstimates in three of the past five quarters. Remember when Big G used to consistently smoke the pros?
Yes, Google is no longer superhuman. It's merely human. However, at the right price, it can be a pretty attractive human being.
News to go
Here are some of the other stories that lit up the market this week:
- Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) teamed up with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) to announce that the Watch Now PC movie streaming service -- available to Netflix subscribers at no additional cost -- will now be available through Xbox 360 boxes for Netflix members that are also Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Giving diehard gamers a growing library of free streaming flicks? That's a great move for both companies, though I wonder whether this will hurt Microsoft's efforts to actually sell and rent digital video.
- Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) announced that it sold a million of its 3G iPhones during its debut weekend last week. Let's see. At that pace, the 3G phone will catch up to Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM ) 14 million BlackBerry users by the end of next month! Naturally, that's not going to happen. Everyone loves to rush to get the new hot gadget the moment it hits the market. That doesn't mean Research In Motion isn't biting its nails, though.
- The Treasury and the Fed announced plans to help bail out Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM ) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE ) . They're not out of the woods just yet, but at least investors know that the government isn't going to let the vital companies go down on their own.
Until next week, I remain,