Look of Smug Satisfaction Returning to Google Investors' Faces

Published on October 12, 2009
by John Paczkowski

googGoogle isn’t scheduled to report third-quarter results until Thursday, but already shares in the company are trading higher in anticipation of solid results. At $524.24, they’re up 1.55 percent–nearly $8, and not without good reason.

This morning, Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bernstein both had good things to say about the company, noting that investors may have underestimated its potential for growth. “Discussions with advertising agencies, including a dinner we hosted with senior agency executives, point to rising spending on Google since June, led by travel, clothing and home improvement advertisers,” Goldman said in a research note issued this morning.

Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay was similarly bullish. “We expect Google’s results to show some signs of cyclical improvement in Q3, as easier comparisons and more favorable currencies should benefit topline trends,” he wrote in a research note. “Paid search is an early cycle advertising format given the immediacy of keyword auctions, and Google has maintained its dominant position within the category.”

Also bolstering Google (GOOG) shares today are the recent comments of company CEO Eric Schmidt, who told journalists at a roundtable discussion last week that the economy is starting to turn around. “The worst is behind us and we clearly see aspects of recovery, and what is notable is we’re seeing aspects of recovery not just in the United States but also in Europe,” Schmidt said. “We are increasing our hiring rate and our investment rate in anticipation of a recovery.”

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