NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Google Inc. (GOOGL) are slightly lower at $594 in pre-market trade after the technology company was told it must improve its proposal to settle EU concerns over its search practices or face formal antitrust charges, according to the EU's competition chief Joaquin Almunia, the Wall Street Journal reports.
In a sometimes heated debate with European lawmakers, Almunia defended his agency's handling of its four-year-old investigation of Google, and insisted he hasn't been swayed by mounting political pressure, the Journal said.
The commission asked Google earlier this month to improve its settlement proposal for an unprecedented fourth time after deciding that the previous offer, announced in February, didn't satisfy its concerns, Almunia said.
If Google fails to deliver the necessary changes, "the logical next step is to move to a statement of objections," or formal charges against the company, Almunia added, according to the Journal.
TheStreet Ratings team rates GOOGLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate GOOGLE INC (GOOGL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- Compared to its closing price of one year ago, GOOGL's share price has jumped by 165.28%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, GOOGL should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- GOOGL's revenue growth trails the industry average of 43.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- Although GOOGL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.14, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- The gross profit margin for GOOGLE INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.68%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 21.44% trails the industry average.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: GOOGL Ratings Report