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Google and Tesla: Too Late to Touch?

Aaron Task
·Editor in Chief
Google and Tesla: Too Late to Touch?

A day after topping $900 for the first time ever, Google shares were taking a bit of a breather Thursday, recently trading down 1.2% to $905.

Meanwhile, Tesla shares continued their phenomenal run, jumping 6% to over $90 in recent trading following last night’s news that founder Elon Musk will invest $100 million of his own money into the firm, which announced plans for a 2.7 million share secondary offering.

In the accompanying video, I discuss these two red-hot stocks with Barry Ritholtz, CEO of Fusion IQ and author of The Big Picture blog. Ritholtz has no position in either name but no shortage of opinions either:


Ritholtz is impressed with Google’s technological prowess and strategy of “throwing stuff against the wall to see what works.” In this regard, the search giant has a big advantage over Apple, which he says “has to hit a home run every time or nearly hit one.”

Related: Stop Asking: Google Is Not the New Apple

Still, Ritholtz is concerned about a potential problem in Google’s core search business. “It used to be awesome. It’s ‘eh’ right now,” he says, citing problems with the quality of results overall and more fundamental issues with Google News Alerts and Blog search which he says are broken.

As a result, “it looks like Google is giving [Microsoft] a toehold and that’s a big mistake,” he says.

While still clearly the dominate player, Google’s share of the U.S. search market dropped to 66.5% in April vs. 67.1% in March. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Bing’s marketshare rose to 17.3%, an all-time high and up from 16.9% in March.

The Daily Ticker’s corporate parent Yahoo!, which has a search partnership with Microsoft, saw its share rise to 12% from 11.8%.


“There’s a huge short squeeze going on and you never want to be on the other side,” Ritholtz says. “Everybody thought this was going to be another Solyndra, clearly not.”

A self-described “car guy,” Ritholtz raved about the new Tesla Model S which Consumer Reports recently ranked as the best car it has tested since 2007.

“They’re not going to sell a lot of cars at $95,000 even with the $10,000 government subsidy,” he says. But “if they can get the price through economies of scale down to high [$30,000-$40,000 range] they’ll threaten GM. If they get it into the [$50,000-$60,000 range], then they’re an Audi or BMW type of car…unless someone comes along and buys them.”

Anyone looking to buy Tesla, be it the whole company or just a few shares, is looking at a much higher price vs. just a few weeks ago as the stock has surged over 80% in the past month. Talk about sticker shock!

Related: Tesla: Why Everyone Should Be Rooting For America's New Car Company

Aaron Task is the host of The Daily Ticker and Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo! Finance. You can follow him on Twitter at @aarontask or email him at altask@yahoo.com

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