Dividends: Is Google Next?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Now that Apple (AAPL) finally declared a dividend, pressure will be brought to bear on another cash rich technology company: Google (GOOG).

That's simply the way the stock market--and world--work.

But most of the media is failing to mention it. Unfortunately, here's the way the media tend to work: consumed with the here-and-now. Pointing traders toward the future with a simple act of anticipation is hardly standard operating procedure.

But Microsoft ( MSFT), Cisco ( CSCO) and Oracle ( ORCL) all pay a dividend. And now Apple has joined the parade. Who is the laggard? The New York Times was among many who didn't tell us. They prattled on about the self-evident: the dividend was a long time in coming, Steve Jobs was allergic to one and the stock went up on the announcement. But Google is not even mentioned.

The Wall Street Journal, by contrast, does well to end its coverage on a note that points toward this unfolding future: "Google now is the richest nonfinancial U.S. company--with $44.63 billion in cash as of Dec. 31--without a dividend payment."

Does this mean that Google will cave and pay? Of course not. But the drumbeat just grew a whole lot louder. You ignore it--as much of the media did--at your own peril.

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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