Nearly two years ago I wrote about internet search giant Google (GOOG) seeing its stock price surpass $700 per share, and as a result, become the fifth most valuable U.S. company in terms of equity market value. Shortly thereafter the recession hit and Google shares tumbled with everything else. The stock is making a comeback though, after reporting strong third quarter earnings last night. Analysts are once again very bullish, boosting their target prices today.
With the stock up $21 today, Google has reached $550 per share and has now returned to fifth place on the most valuable company list, as you can see below.
My main question has not really changed over the last two years. Does Google deserve to be number five, or will we look back five or ten years from now and realize that being a leader in internet search and advertising (while certainly an impressive feat) doesn’t really translate into a company being valued nearly the same as some of the others on this list.
Full Disclosure: Some Peridot clients have been long Google over the last two years, and some still own it, but I have been cutting back the positions as the stock’s forward P/E ratio has gotten back over 20 (currently about 22).