What's the point, Google
You're carrying $33.4 billion in cash and marketable securities on your balance sheet, but it's not as if you're going to use it.
The time is right to initiate a dividend policy. Tacking on yield-chasing income investors to your already smitten growth investors can do wonders for your share price. It's also the right thing to do, because what else are you going to do with all of that money?
Let's go over all of the possible reasons to carry $33.4 billion -- and growing -- around these days.
Buyouts? Fuhgeddaboudit! The antitrust bartender cut you off a round ago. Why else has it taken this long to pull off the $700 million acquisition of ITA Software? Why did Groupon supposedly ask for a stiff breakup fee before that potential purchase went bust?
Share repurchases? Please. There's too much pride among the tech dot-com giants these days to buy back stock. Repurchasing shares will likely lead to a lower market cap. There are bragging rights in there, and the world's leading search engine is going to hack away there when it's a good year or two away from passing Microsoft
Cushion? Google isn't cyclical. This isn't Ford
Interest income? That's a laugher. You're earning a pittance on your idle cash.
The only possible use for that meaty war chest is if you need to ramp up your R&D spending to drum up organic solutions to the acquisition targets that the antitrust regulators will no longer let you buy. Either way, no one can dream away $33.4 billion in projects.
I realize that no one is buying into the search industry for quarterly distributions. Smaller rivals Yahoo! and Baidu
It's time. I'm not much of a cheerleader when it comes to dividend policies in general. I'd rather see a company do something with its money than hand it back to me in a taxable transaction. However, your situation is very different, Google. That $33.4 billion isn't going anywhere -- unless you want it to happen.
Should Google initiate a dividend policy? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Google and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Baidu and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers choices. Ford Motor is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Google and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still uses Google a lot in his daily life. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.
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