Ask a Fool: GOOG vs. GOOGL Shares

What's the story behind Google's new tickers? Is one class of shares better than the other?

Brendan Mathews
Brendan Mathews
Apr 15, 2014 at 10:05AM
Technology and Telecom

In this edition of The Motley Fool's "Ask a Fool" series, Motley Fool One analyst Jason Moser and Motley Fool Stock Advisor analyst Brendan Mathews take a question about Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL). A reader asks: "Should I sell GOOG tomorrow and buy GOOGL? Am I missing something?"

In short, Brendan says no. While Google's Class A shares (i.e., GOOGL) have superior voting rights to Class C shares (i.e., GOOG), it's probably not worth selling one class to buy another. It could very well trigger tax consequences, and it will definitely incur trading costs. The two classes of shares won't always track each other perfectly, perhaps with the Class A shares trading at a slight premium, but Brendan doesn't believe the effect will be big enough to warrant swapping the different share classes. Jason points out that insiders already control the company via super-voting Class B shares, so the issue of voting rights is largely irrelevant.