13 August 2015

Google Alphabet A Signal To Sell OR Short $GOOG and $GOOGL shares?

UPDATE April 4, 2016: Google’s Alphabet Transition Has Been Tougher Than A-B-C | WIRED

UPDATE September 3, 2015: Security firm BlueCoat says stay away from dotXYZ sites [this would include Google Alphabet's abc.xyz] and that Google newgTLD .ZIP should be "blocked" --see Security Firm Recommends Blocking ICANN's "Shadiest" New gTLDs

UPDATE August 27, 2015: see Google Responds to Claims It Breached EU Antitrust Rules (video)

UPDATE August 24, 2015Staff Exodus, Pressure from Microsoft, Apple Hit Google Now | Re/code: "... What went unannounced was that most of the original team that built Now had departed, many of them just before I/O, according to multiple sources. Some had grown frustrated that the product, born within Android, was shuttered into search inside of Google, they said ... The exits reveal the hiccups Google has incubating new products that reach across multiple units of the tech giant ... Meanwhile, Google’s core business, search, continue to lose steam with paid clicks falling as mobile app usage skyrocketed ... A former Googler who worked on Now recalled Pichai’s response to their protests: “‘Look, I’ve got a lot on my plate. Chrome and Android are my top priorities. Google Now is not on that. I can’t fight that battle for you.’” (emphasis added)

UPDATE August 23, 2015: Thanks to Larry and Sergey's cute idea called Alphabet or abc.xyz or whateverUnicorns are now finding it easy to hire the best talent away from Google--see Unicorns Hunt for Talent Among Silicon Valley’s Giants - The New York Times"The unicorns, a class of hot start-ups valued at $1 billion or more, are all aggressively pursuing the best and brightest minds in Silicon Valley with promises of talked-about workplaces and eye-popping payouts. Amid a general scramble for talent, Google, the Internet search company, has undergone specific raids from unicorns for engineers who specialize in crucial technologies like mapping ... Now may be an especially opportune time for unicorns to pick off Google workers. The company is in the midst of restructuring into a holding company named Alphabet. That has raised questions as to how employees, and their pet projects, will be situated and funded under the new regime."

UPDATE August 20: Google Co-founder, Larry Page, has been selling Google stock--more info here: Ownership Information: Page Lawrencehttp://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/own-disp?action=getowner&CIK=0001295231

UPDATE August 16, 2016:  Did Google just trash one of the world’s best brands? The Financial Times (registration required) has just reported in a story headlined "Google rebrand faces searching questions" that "last week’s decision to change its name to Alphabet and restrict the Google name to only part of its business marks a highly unusual decision to strip a successful brand from the letterhead of one of the world’s most admired companies. According to branding experts, it could also rob the Google name of some of its veneer of innovation and quirky adventurousness, a quality known inside the company as being “googley” — something that could make it harder to hire and retain talent in the company’s core internet search operation ... it may even send a message internally that the “Google” part of the company is turning into a low-growth cash cow ..."

See also Business Insider report Internal joke told at Google about change: "... as the dust settles from this massive, unexpected shift, Google is likely to see a slew of departures from people who might not like where this particular reorg left them."


Your Guide to the 81 Parts of Google's Alphabet--Aug. 13--What exactly makes up the pieces of Google's Alphabet? Bloomberg broke down the full list... alphabetically of course. (Video by David Yim, Justin Beach, and Christian Capestany; Voiced by Drew Bebee and Kelly Belknap)--UPDATE August 13, 2015--Google has until August 31 to reply to EU antitrust charges:

Google's GOOGL (left) and GOOG (right) 1-year stock charts graphic
Above: Google's GOOGL (left) and GOOG (right) 1-year stock charts (souce: google.com)
At first, the Wall Street monkeys analysts loved the Billionaire Boys' idea of a holding company (see Alphabet, Google Reorg FACTS, The Google Hooli XYZ Connection). Google shares accelerated their climb beyond even that caused by the advent of Google's new CFO, Ruth Porat, a few weeks ago. Even Wired (domain name: wired.com) outdid itself, proclaiming (consecutively):
Fact check (as of August 12, 2015):
.XYZ Domain Names Registered:          767,900

(Note: .XYZ, has fewer total domain names registered as of August 12, 2015, than it did on June 3, 2015, when it had a total of 940,585. On the other hand, .COM continues to grow--a .COM domain name is registered almost every second of every day, seven days a week.)

  • The End of the Universe: A (Slightly Premature) Lament | WIRED: "... Will humanity find a new home amid the stars? No! Of course not. Human beings have never built anything that got farther than a few dozen light years ... Even the search will be futile. According to this new study, every other galaxy in the universe will be petering out along with the Milky Way. “Eventually the universe is going to run out of stars that will supply enough energy for life,” says Beacom. Nothing to be done. “The universe will continue to exist,” says Finkelman. “It will have just entered a state of not producing any more energy.” This is the way the universe ends. Not with the bang that started it. Not even with a whimper. Only silence."
Fact check: "... the entire universe of possible things, will be gone in 100 billion years. A trillion, tops." (source, Wired, supra)

But even Wired is starting to have doubts about Alphabet or ABC.xyz, or whatever--
  • Alphabet's New Logo | WIRED: "… [the Logo] could just confuse users. Paul Munkholm, director of strategy, digital agency Kettle: "... First is the name Alphabet. There’s not a clear branding or verbal link to Google or to the other entities. Unlike Virgin, which is clearly a parent brand to businesses like Virgin Air and Virgin ..."
Fact check: this is the "best" the "Billionaire Boys" could come up with--

graphic of the logo for Alphabet, the new holding company that owns Google
The logo for Alphabet, the new holding company that owns Google
Stock symbols GOOG and GOOGL will remain unchanged. Domain name (as of now) of the holding company is NOT alphabet.com nor even alphabet.xyz but abc.xyz. This--branding, logo, domain name, stock symbols--frankly, add up to a big "mess." See: Company Domain Names, IPOs, Simple Rules, Stupid Mistakes. This all makes Marissa Mayer's Yahoo! re-branding almost look professional!

Is this what happens when a couple of Stanford graduate students "get lucky," become billionaires before age 30 (based on private pre-IPO funding valuations at the time), and  forget that no matter how "smart" they think they are, they are really just pants-wearing primates like the rest of  us?

Despite the initial hype, some discerning minds are now voicing different views about "Alphabet." First, Larry and Sergey are no Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger:

Why Google’s Alphabet Is Nothing like Berkshire Hathaway—and Much RiskierMIT Technology Review: "... First, it’s important to dispel the assumption that Page and cofounder Sergey Brin have created something like the Berkshire Hathaway of the Internet, an updated version of Warren Buffett’s conglomerate. “The comparison is silly,” says Michael A. Cusumano, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Buffett, he says, invests in existing, undervalued companies, a bit like a mutual fund—precisely the opposite of Alphabet’s VC-style focus on risky new ventures like Calico, which wants to somehow fight aging. If Page and Brin try to run Alphabet like an updated Berkshire Hathaway or even General Electric, a more tech-focused conglomerate, they will run into trouble, says David B. Yoffie, a professor of international business administration at Harvard Business School. “They’re run very differently from successful tech companies,” he says. “I’m skeptical because it’s very hard to have a conglomerate structure in the tech world.” ... even more difficult to capitalize on new products and services ..."

See also:
Also remember:
  1. Google is an advertising company--that's how it makes most of its money;
  2. The world has moved to mobile--Google's search share, and advertising share, on mobile is declining;
  3. Android, the Google mobile OS, doesn't make any money for Google;
  4. YouTube makes very little money for Google;
  5. Google failed at making a profitable smartphone and sold off Motorola to Lenovo;
  6. Google+ and scores of other products and services never made any money and have been flops;
  7. How about Google's domain name business? Google Domains looks like it has been banished to permanent purgatory beta. The Google Domain Registry business is a disaster like most of the other new gTLD registry operators.
  8. Sergey Brin and Larry Page control Google through a special class of shares that gives them 54.6 per cent of the voting rights, even though their economic interest is only 13.1 per cent. They will continue to have "voting control" for the foreseeable future;
  9. Google GOOGL Class A stock is selling at a P/E ratio of 34.77;
  10. In contrast, Apple AAPL stock is selling at a P/E ratio of  only 13.31;
  11. Larry and Sergey were clueless on how to monetize the Google search engine, and tried to sell the whole company for $1 million or less in 1999
  12. "Google's initial public offering (IPO) took place five years later on August 19, 2004. At that time Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt agreed to work together at Google for 20 years, until the year 2024. The company offered 19,605,052 shares at a price of $85 per share." (Wikipedia)
“The universe will continue to exist ... It will have just entered a state of not producing any more energy. This is the way the universe ends." (source, Wired, supra)
Disclosure: See Disclaimer at bottom of this web page and here. Neither the author, editor, nor publisher of Domain Mondo, have any current nor planned positions, long or short, in Google shares.


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