NEW YORK (Real Money) -- You hear it, I hear it: They've written off the social-media plays and have decided that search is a loser and the lowest of the low tech. That's pretty much the whole picture, isn't it?
How can this be? First because that's how it has always been. There comes a time in the Internet love fest when everyone just feels had. That's because the long-term thinkers are running some of these joints, and the short-term shareholders have no patience for long term.
Take Facebook (FB) . Here's a company that simply has delivered remarkable numbers and it continues to introduce new products, including work collaboration tools, which were introduced this week. Just another way to take advantage of the company's reach. Doesn't matter. People have decided that Facebook's stock has become a loser, a stuck-in-the-mud situation where, at any given moment, they could make some costly acquisition that makes no sense at all.
Google (GOOG) ? Even though it is cheap on an earnings basis, if you look back at the cash, the company's stock is suffering from the perception that Google's stopped caring about it. That last quarterly conference call was regarded with disdain by investors.
Twitter (TWTR) is totally aggravating. It's got a vision, but without someone to execute that vision, it will remain a battleground, with the shorts just weighing on it every minute. I think it is a waiting game, and it's five down and 15 up, which is a pretty good risk/reward, even as the five down seems like it has to come first.
The stocks that are working right now are the opposite of these. The ones with the aggressive buybacks and dividends are the ones that are going higher. They are the ones where there's no willy-nilly stock printing. They are the ones that have been there on dips and the ones that people want to show they own.
When will Facebook, Twitter and Google spring back to life? The answer to that is simple: When we see their next quarter and people know how well they are doing. In the meantime, unless someone comes in to mark them up at year-end, they might just be stuck, left behind by lesser companies with smaller visions but bigger buybacks and bountiful dividends, and less jarring chances for missing quarterly estimates.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 5:48 a.m. EST on Real Money on Nov. 18.¿