Good news recently surfaced for tech stocks like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT).
For the first time ever, online ad sales are expected to outpace print sales in 2012, according to an eMarketer study. Online advertising is expected to generate $39.5 billion in sales this year, while print ads are expected to fall to $33.8 billion.
Not that people didn’t see this coming. The Internet has been steadily replacing newspapers and magazines as the place where the biggest companies run their ads. As a former newspaper reporter, I’m a little saddened by the news. Print media has been dying a slow death. This just further confirms it.
But it’s good news for websites like this one, and better news for some of the online sales leaders. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are the top dogs among publicly traded Internet companies. AOL (NYSE: AOL) and Marchex (Nasdaq: MCHX), a leader in mobile ad sales, are other tech stocks that rely heavily on online ad sales.
But the company that stands to benefit most from the projected online sales increase has yet to go public. With an estimated $2.2 billion in advertising revenue last year, Facebook has become the new leader in online sales revenue, with a 17.7% share of the market. The company is expected to go public the third week of May in one of the most eagerly anticipated IPOs in recent memories. The latest news will only add to the anticipation.
Yahoo and Google are Nos. 2 and 3 in online sales, respectively. But Google is expected to be the fastest-growing company in display ad revenues in 2012.
Further down the road, eMarketer expects online ad sales to grow 17.7% in 2013 and 13.5% in 2014. That bodes well for the long-term future of some of the leading tech stocks.