That’s not something we’re used to hearing, but since its peak back in the Fall at nearly 750, Google has dropped to 584 currently, a 166 point drop (it’s dropped more in after hours, all the way down to 568). It’s on a steep decline in the past few days, perhaps due to the new search stats from Nielsen, as well as jitters about the economy at large.
I can only imagine what this is doing to the Google culture. Don’t tell me no one watches the stock there. Anyone who’s joined since September of 2007 – and that’s a lot of folks – now find their options underwater.
The culture is taking its first deep breath. Recall my predictions from a few weeks ago: 2008 will be the year Wall Street gets frustrated with Google. The company has incredible numbers, and will continue to impress, but analysts, tired of bidding up the stock, will start to question the company’s myriad ocean-boiling projects – after all, it’s merely trying to reinvent Health, Energy, Telecom, IT (both consumer apps and OSes), and a few other major portions of the GDP. Look for a few querulous analyst reports and even a few downgrades by the end of the year, as Wall Street finally comes out of its honeymoon stage with Google and demands that the company consolidate its control in marketes where profits are secure: Search and Adsense.
Is this the start of it? It could be. Earnings are coming, and they will be the key to the story. Right now, Wall St. isn’t in love with Google, or any other stock, to be sure. A great quarter – which Google consistently delivers, by the way, could change that.