days of being spurned by the
may be coming to an end, according to a Wall Street analyst.
"We think it's likely that Google will be added to the S&P 500 Index, as it is the only one of the top four Internet companies that has yet to be included," writes Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck, who rates the shares outperform, in a note to clients Monday.
Peck, whose firm makes a market in the stock and has provided noninvestment banking services for Google, doesn't predict when this will happen. S&P says it doesn't divulge which companies are being considered for the index.
Shares of companies added to the S&P 500 usually rise because the move forces fund managers who mimic the index to buy their shares. Google, whose shares dropped following last week's disappointing fourth-quarter earnings report, would be no exception, Peck writes.
"For Google, we estimate demand of about 20 million shares from index funds, which represents about 1.5 days of volume and roughly 7% of Google shares outstanding," he writes.
Peck is not the first person to suggest that Google may join the benchmark index. Google's skyrocketing share price has no doubt attracted the notice of the committee that determines which companies to include. That also may be one of the reasons why Google has remained out of the index.
Google, which has a $120 billion market capitalization, would have a huge impact on the S&P 500. Peck estimates that it would rank among the top 30 companies in the index and would constitute a weight of about 0.75%.
S&P will have to decide whether Google's share price is "reasonable" and whether the Internet sector is adequately represented as it ponders whether to include it in the index, Peck says.
"In the past, many investors considered it inappropriate to include a then-highflying Internet stock into the index, which relative to the rest of the group was trading at a much higher trailing multiple, to such an extent that including it elevated the entire multiple of the S&P 500," Peck says.
Shares of Google rose $4.62 to $386.17.