Google (GOOG, $304.92, down $6.54) has been hovering the $300 mark for the past couple of days and it looks as though it’s just a matter of time before the stock falls below this level. Google is at a three-year low after a couple of analysts downgraded the stock this week amid the global slowdown.
Shares of Google started its slide on Monday after Goldman Sachs trimmed their growth forecast and target price. Goldman still rates the stock a “Buy,” but expects the company’s current quarter revenue will grow just 1% sequentially, down from an earlier expectation of a 4% quarter-over-quarter increase. The new price target for the stock is $475, down from $520.
Not do be outdone, Citigroup cut its earning estimates for the company but also kept a “Buy” rating on the stock. Their new price target for Google is $450. Citigroup’s channel checks are revealing the same information Goldman has learned. One, ad revenue is being curbed by corporations and two, consumer clicks on paid advertisement links are declining.
On Tuesday, the stock hit $300.52, its lowest point since 2005. The question with Google is can it do well in other markets beside search and search advertising? The company has its finger in a lot of pies and although phone and video are some great platforms, I don’t think Google has the muscle to overtake Apple (AAPL, $92.17, down $2.60) but then again, you can never underestimate what Google might have up its sleeve.
Wall Street rode Google to a high of $724 and has since abandoned ship. Looking at the chart, if Google fails to hold $300 then it could get nasty. The “floor” for Google appears to be $200 where there is a solid foundation. I’m not saying Google gets a straight drop to $200 but I do think the stock breaks below $300.
Short-term traders are targeting the November 280 puts (GGDWP, $6.00, up $1.00). The puts have traded as high as $7.20 and have a shot at $10 if Google continues lower. The November puts expire next Friday.
The December 240 puts (GOUXH, $6.60, up $1.22) are getting some activity as bears prepare for the drop below $300. The overall market sentiment is still down and Google has a big bull’s eye on its back. Bears are throwing darts looking to score…