This morning's Tech Ticker drew a bead on short-sellers who saw a wounded beast in Google and bet that the stock would go down this month - even though sellers weren't really sure what Google's 1st quarter financials would look like.
Well, they know now. As I said yesterday, Google performed much higher than analysts on Wall Street had predicted, and saw its stock price rise as a result. That's poison to Wall Street's short-sellers, who bet on stocks going down - not up.
A quick word on short-selling, a strategy I used many times during my years as a Wall Street trader. In simple form, short -selling is a technique employed by an investor who believes the market price of a security will drop. The investor borrows stock, which he then sells (even though he doesn't own it). If the price of the stock drops, the investor can buy the same stock for less than what he originally sold it for, and make a profit, after paying the brokerage commission for borrowing the stock. The investor must return a like number of shares of the borrowed stock to the stock lender.
But if the stock goes up - and not down, as in the case of Google yesterday, it's the short-seller left holding the bag. Tech Ticker analyst Henry Blodgett, one of the few analysts I've seen that told investors to go long on Google, says that Google's stock should stabilize and not go down any further - probably settling in at the $550 range. That's bad news for the shorties, who now have to make up the difference for the price they borrowed the stock at and the higher price value that Google stock holds now.
It took a lot of cojones to go long on Google this spring, especially with the dreaded "pay-per-click" numbers game that investors were playing with Google (for the record, pay-per-click averages at Google did go down, but they didn't wind up hurting the company). Google says it's making up the volume lost on paid-clicks with quality search technologies that make such searches more attractive to customers. That's not my area, but Wall Street - which is my area - bought that rationale, hook, line and sinker.
And, as I said yesterday, expectations are all that matter on The Street. And Google beat'em big time.