Google (GOOG) Acquires Titan Aerospace To Help Project Loon

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG) announced Monday that it will buy solar-powered drone startup Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed sum.

Shares of Google were gaining 0.7% to $534.32.

Facebook (FB) was reportedly looking to acquire the startup before Google's acquisition.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google will use Titan Aerospace's drones, the Solara 50 and Solara 60, as part of its Project Loon which aims to bring Internet connectivity to less-accessible areas through the use of hot-air balloons. The company may also use the drones in conjunction with its Makani unit which is currently developing airborne wind turbines.

Titan's drones may also be able to help Google Maps with their ability to take high-resolution of the earth.

"It's still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation," a Google spokesperson said in a statement to The Journal.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates GOOGLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GOOGLE INC (GOOGL) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • GOOGL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 16.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 16.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although GOOGL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.06 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.28, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $5,238.00 million or 12.18% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GOOGLE INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 11.64%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Internet Software & Services industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 17.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $2,886.00 million to $3,376.00 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GOOGL Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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