free html hit counter GOOG's A Steal Sez Analyst: Q4 Insight From Redacted Blog Post? - John Battelle's Search Blog

GOOG's A Steal Sez Analyst: Q4 Insight From Redacted Blog Post?

By - December 05, 2008

A price target of 450! Wow, that’s like way above where it is now. Wait, where are we, in 2004?! Check this note from UBS (can’t link, bc banks are so 1991):

* Google highlights paid click growth and e-commerce activity

A recent post on the official Google Retail blog referenced some encouraging e-Commerce/paid click trends for the Black Friday through Cyber Monday period, both in terms of broader e-Commerce (cited from comScore) but also GOOG’s internally-tracked paid click growth for Cyber Monday in several key retail categories, many of which were up double-digits vs. the year ago period.

* GOOG paid click volumes up double digits y/y across key retail categories

According to the post, GOOG paid click volumes for Cyber Monday were up y/y in retail categories such as Department Stores (up 39%), Books & Magazines (up 28%), Comparison shopping (up 25%), Sports & Fitness (up 24%), Home Furnishings (up 14%), and Apparel (up 9%).

* Positive data (though it represents only one day)

It is not often that GOOG releases such data points, making it difficult to put this data into context. However, seeing key categories up 9-39% y/y is a positive, and indicates that consumers are still searching for retail products, deals and coupons. We remain cautious on the holiday/4Q outlook however (due in part to the five fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year), but it’s interesting to see GOOG releasing this type of data.

* Valuation: Maintain Buy rating, $450 Price Target

$450 target based on UBS VCAM DCF, and implies 21x our 2009 EPS estimate.

What the post does NOT say is that the post in question, which you can find here, used to have internal Google numbers, but they were redacted when someone at Google realized they were, well, perhaps giving away earnings for Q4. The post, which an astute reader capture before redaction, used to read:

This year’s Monday after Thanksgiving saw 2 million more consumers shopping online than Cyber Monday 2007, a 22% increase according to comScore. Consumers surfed, saw and shopped their way through the many discounts offered across the web representing a whopping 15% increase in spend over last year, the second heaviest online spending day ever! (comScore) Google paid click volume was also up, year over year, in categories like Department Stores (39%), Books & Magazines (28%), Comparison shopping (25%) and Sports & Fitness (24%). Even categories like Apparel (9%) and Home Furnishings (14%) were up. (Google Internal Data, Category Leaders)

If the Retail Pundits are right, the online holiday shop-a-thon will continue well into the Holiday Season.

I bolded the stuff that was redacted. Hmmmmmmmmmm……after some, er, Googling, I see SAI got this too...

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