The One Stock Not to Short

Google Search (Big Pic)

Shorting stocks has been very popular in 2012.  However there's one stock that is dangerous to bet against.

The idea of shorting shares of Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is a daring bet that sounds insightful, but doesn't add up.  Apple (AAPL) is pulling Google Maps from its iPhones and iPads and that has led to chatter on the internets about the downfall of Google.  Despite what the blogs and message boards may be saying about Google's decline, Mastery takes the high ground.

Apple is releasing a Map App, good for them but its small potatoes.  Could this be the opportune time to short Google shares?  

You'd have to have a set of Brass Balls to short Google today. If you're lucky, maybe GOOG drops to $500, giving you a gain of about 10%. Or if you're unlucky, shares return to $600, and you're stuck with a -10% loss.

Earth to web surfers: Google is not going to fall off the face of the planet because Apple is replacing Google Maps on the iPhone. In fact, Google realizes minimul revenue from Google Maps, and the app will most likely still be available in the iStore. Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster wrote in a research note Wednesday that Apple's decision to abandon Google Maps shouldn't have any "material impact" on the revenue Google gets from iOS.

Lets face it, humans are creatures of habit and we don't like change. My guess is most users are comfortable and familar with Google Maps. Many of us lack the time and ambition to learn a new interface even if it is created from Apple.

Yes, "Apple is at war" makes for some sensational headlines. But don't miss the big picture of what Google has going for it:

  • Dominate player in Web search, which is not going away and will not be replaced by apps as some speculate.
  • Will begin manufacturing their own phones thanks to the Motorala acquisition.
  • Recent price target reductions on Google shares are well above $600.

Last week JPMorgan Chase reduced its price target to $670 for Google.   Deutsche Bank did the same and cut their target price on GOOG to $662.  Whoop-te-doo, that means in the next year Google might only increase 17 to 18%.

Ticker Current Price Target Price % Increase
GOOG  $         563.75  $    670.00 18.8%
GOOG  $         563.75  $    662.00 17.4%

MASTERY Bottom Line (SUB ZERO Style)

MASTERY Bottom line:

Don't lose your house betting against Google. 

Even with the latest target price reductions there is money to be made going long GOOG.