Internet giant Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is such a big company that it’s tough to peg one reason to own GOOG stock. But there does seem to be one big reason out there which encompasses all the mini-reasons to own GOOG stock.
What is that big reason? GOOG stock has a ton of firepower.
Whether you are talking about the huge and still rapidly growing digital advertising business, or the huge and still rapidly growing cloud business, or the not-yet-huge-but-one-day-will-be-huge smart home, self-driving and cloud gaming businesses, GOOG stock has a ton of firepower. Pretty much all these businesses, outside of digital advertising, are still in their early innings. So, it is fair to say that Google’s firepower is only getting greater.
From this perspective, the bull thesis on GOOG stock is simple. This stock isn’t priced as a company with a ton of firepower. Instead, at just 25 times forward earnings, GOOG stock is priced as company with slowing growth from a 20%-plus base. That isn’t the case. Given this, the valuation doesn’t reflect reality. Eventually, it will. When it does, GOOG stock will soar higher.
Until then, I think the best thing to do with GOOG stock is accumulate on dips and hold for the long haul. This stock is a long-term winner.
Google Has So Many Catalysts
When you talk about Google the company, you are talking about an internet conglomerate with multiple secular growth catalysts.
First and foremost, there is the digital advertising business. Google search is the backbone of the internet essentially everywhere in the world besides China. Meanwhile, Google-owned YouTube is the second most visited social media website in the world with nearly 2 billion monthly users. Because of its huge internet presence, Google dominates the digital advertising market. Globally, Google controls more than 40% of the digital advertising market.
The global digital advertising market is expected to continue to grow at double-digit rate over the next five years. Thus, even if Google just maintains market share, Google’s advertising business should be able to grow at a double-digit rate. The more likely outcome is that, due to enhanced targeting and AI capabilities, Google continues to grow market share. In that scenario, Google’s advertising business should grow at a 15-20% rate over the next several years.
Second, there is Google Cloud. Although Google Cloud isn’t as dominant in the cloud world as Google advertising is in the ad world, Google Cloud is still one of the “Big 3” in the cloud market. The whole cloud market is expected to grow at a near 20%-clip over the next several years. Thus, if Google Cloud maintains current market share (which seems likely given growing product interest), this is a 20% growth business for GOOG over the next few years.
Third, there is smart home. Google’s smart home business isn’t the dominant player in the industry yet, but all signs point to Google smart home becoming just as dominant as Google advertising. Right now, Google is second in this market with somewhere around 30% share. But the consensus belief is that market-leading Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is rapidly losing market share, while Google is rapidly gaining market share. This makes sense given Google’s recent advancements in AI, and the company’s unparalleled ability to turn massive amounts of data (think about all your Google searches) into top-tier AI technologies.
Due its AI edge, Google should be able to significantly grow smart home market share over the next several years. This whole market is expected to grow at a double-digit rate over the next several years. Double-digit market growth on top of Google share expansion implies a smart home business growth rate for GOOG of 15%-plus, and perhaps closer to 20%.
Last, and certainly not least, is Google’s self-driving unit, Waymo. Waymo is widely considered to be the world’s leading self-driving company. This market is potentially huge. The consensus belief is that autonomous driving is a 40% to 60% annualized growth market over the next several years. Thus, so long as Waymo maintains its leadership position in this market, you are talking about a business that could be a big revenue driver within a few years.
Google Stock Is Attractively Priced
When you put all of Google’s catalysts together, you start to realize that this is a company with a lot of firepower. Yes, the digital ad business should slow as that whole market matures. But the cloud business should continue to grow at a rapid rate, the smart home business should experience accelerated growth and the self-driving business could turn into a multi-billion dollar revenue driver.
Put it all together and there is a strong likelihood this company grows revenues by 20% over the next several years. Considering the one thing killing margins (traffic acquisition costs in the digital advertising business) is moderating, margins should head higher during that time frame. As such, you are talking about a company with 20%-plus earnings growth potential over the next several years.
GOOG stock trades at 25 times forward earnings for that 20%-plus earnings growth. That just seems too cheap. Indeed, if you project out 20% earnings growth, you get to $80 in earnings per share by fiscal 2022. A historically normal 20 forward multiple on that implies a fiscal 2021 end price target of $1,600. This implies 30%-plus upside over the next three years.
Bottom Line on GOOG Stock
This stock has a ton of firepower, and that firepower isn’t priced in at current levels. As such, the investment strategy with GOOG stock continues to be accumulate on dips, and hold for the long term.
As of this writing, Luke Lango was long GOOG and AMZN.