Big G's head of corporate development has indicated that there should be more "large opportunities" for Google to pursue. I went over a few of those potential buyout candidates earlier this week, but what about the small fry?
Plenty of compelling options with market caps smaller than $1 billion may still be able to move the needle for a behemoth of Google's size.
Let's take a look at some of the publicly traded possibilities with market caps in the nine figures.
Google's AdWords platform is a slacker compared to the lengths that QuinStreet will go to deliver verified leads. The company builds entire websites solely to deliver only prequalified leads to advertisers.
QuinStreet didn't set the world on fire after going public last year, largely because its client base is heavily geared toward financial services and online educators -- two sectors that have come under fire lately.
However, QuinStreet's model for providing vetted customers continues to resonate with its growing base of advertisers. Revenue grew 32% in its latest quarter, with adjusted net income soaring 35%.
This company's also toiling away in a niche that doesn't really register on Google's radar. ReachLocal helps small businesses target local traffic online.
Unlike the paid-search juggernauts, ReachLocal employs local Internet marketing consultants who provide hands-on assistance. Sure, they'll manage paid-search campaigns through Google and Microsoft's
Revenue skyrocketed 49% in its latest quarter, though ReachLocal did post a loss. The red ink will continue until at least 2012, so top-line growth will be the real story here until ReachLocal can entrench itself in its markets and begin to cash in on its labor.
Ask any bride-to-be about TheKnot.com, and you'll learn all you need to know about the company behind the popular wedding-planning website.
The Knot blends a lively -- though naturally ever-changing -- community of folks about to get married with service providers who pay a premium to be featured in its localized directories. From banquet hall operators to wedding singers, The Knot attracts advertisers that want to reach out to young couples on the verge of spending a whole lot of money to make their special day memorable.
Financially speaking, The Knot has been in a rut lately, with single-digit revenue growth and uninspiring profitability. However, that's not The Knot's fault -- it's a sign of the times, as folks scaled back their wedding plans during the recession. If Google's smart, it'll pop the question here before couples begin flocking back to the altar.
Offering sponsored travel deals before cheap treks were cool, Travelzoo distributes the weekly Travelzoo Top 20 email that goes out to millions of willing recipients. It's growing quickly, with the recent stock gains to show for it.
There have been challenges in the past to its model. I was concerned when priceline.com
As the leading travel deals publisher, growing with every passing quarter, Travelzoo would be a logical target for Google -- especially if there are any hiccups with its delayed acquisition of ITA Software.
Your turn! Who do you think Google should buy next? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Google and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google, The Knot, and ReachLocal are Motley Fool Rule Breakers choices. priceline.com 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 thinks the "M" in M&A should stand for marriage. He does not own shares in any of the stocks 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.