Is it too late for the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) brand to follow Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) in tacking on an exclamation point at the end of its name? It certainly feels appropriate. The company smashed profit targets by earning $0.71 a share during 2004's final quarter, when revenues -- including traffic acquisition costs -- topped the billion-dollar mark.

To put this in perspective, it had only earned $0.73 a share on nearly $2.2 billion in revenue over the three previous quarters combined. After producing $349 million in free cash flow through the first nine months of the year, it wound up amassing an impressive $658 million for all of 2004.

Do you think those who managed to score shares at $85 a pop when the company went public over the summer are happy with their decision? You bet. The stock leapt over the $200 mark on the strong showing.

But is Google overvalued? Now fetching roughly 140 times trailing earnings, it may not find too many vulture tongues wagging. However, explosive growth has a funny way of whittling down stratospheric multiples with every satisfying quarter. Keep in mind that the company's revenue more than doubled in 2004, while its net income more than tripled. In fact, those who bought in at $85 during the IPO were paying more than 200 times the previous year's earnings and we already know how well that played out.

Yet there are more than a few bumps in the road that may test the mettle of this dot-com joyride. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has launched a supposedly beefed-up search engine, which it will no doubt market aggressively. Yahoo! would be an idiot if it didn't extend its Overture offering to smaller publishers the way Google has with AdSense -- to such a ridiculously successful extent that nearly half of the company's revenues are coming from its network of partner publisher sites. Then you have insiders who may be itching to cash out after the lockup period ends in two weeks. While obviously all 177 million insider shares wouldn't flood the market overnight it would certainly be tempting if you were one of the lucky Google beneficiaries to take some profits after the stock's rewarding run over these past few months.

After watching even the mighty eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) proven mortal last month when it disappointed the market with slow growth projections, don't you think more than a few insiders will want to diversify their holdings? The fact that insider sales, done in concert, would put some downward pressure on the shares may actually rush some in coming to the same conclusion and pulling the sell trigger sooner rather than later.

That doesn't mean that investors should expect a Valentine's Day massacre when the insider lockup is history come February 14, but it will certainly give investors pause before bidding up the shares too much higher in the near term.

More of our recent thoughts on Google:

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a happy Google user. However, he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.