It’s unlikely Google will ever find another money machine as efficient as search advertising, which accounts for about 40% of the $40 billion advertising dollars spent online each year. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to try.
They have been trying for a while too. Each time winds up looking like a distraction – meanwhile, capex will remain bloated, brain drain continues, and shareholders’ 3-year return just hit zero percent.
Maybe it’s time to clean out the entire M&A department, and wipe the R&D slate as well – start over, with a free-range cash cow in pocket. Sprinkling in a dividend yield might not hurt either.
UPDATE: More reasoning on dividends (although I’m personally steering clear of the fat long position idea contained within).