First Global issued a research note today downgrading Google from “market outperform” to “perform.”
The note reads like a rehash of the latest headlines:
“Of late, “Googlephobia” has increased significantly, which we believe is a cause for concern. Viacom has sued Google for $1 billion, charging Google’s YouTube with wilfully infringing on copyrights. NBC Universal and News Corp. have announced big plans for forming a rival to Google’s enormously popular YouTube video site that will run television show clips, as well as full-length movies on Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft’s MSN, MySpace.com and other partner sites. With the traditional media’s fear and distrust of Google increasing, we believe that the company may face stronger opposition as it expands its horizons beyond search. We, therefore, expect the stock to remain under pressure in the near term due to the existing uncertainties and downgrade Google to Market Perform.”
GOOG opened the year around the $500 mark but is trading sideways in the low $460s now. Google had an excellent first quarter with profit rising 69% from the prior year, exceeding most analysts’ expectations.