It’s often easy for growth investors to overlook mega-cap companies. The (mistaken) thinking is usually along the lines of, “If the market cap is well over $100 billion, is there much growth potential left?”
The answer, in some cases, is “You bet.”
Such is the case with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) today. I see at least 20% upside in the stock from its current level of $590. That’s a big jump for a company with a market cap of $400 billion.
Google is doing a lot of things exceedingly well. Besides being the dominant force in online search, Google is probably the best-positioned company in the world to benefit from the proliferation of connected devices.
It has already laid the foundation to monetize its immense web traffic with brands such as YouTube, Google Docs, Gmail, etc. And more recently, it has added more physical products to the mix with acquisitions like Nest and Dropcam.
As consumers’ reliance on mobile gadgets and connected devices grows, the opportunities for Google to monetize traffic increases exponentially. Because of its dominance in search advertising, display advertising and, increasingly, online traffic from connected devices, I believe Google will grow revenue and earnings faster than 15% annually over the next five years.
As if that’s not attractive enough, Google has at least one more reason why growth investors should love the company: Google X.
Google X is the company’s “secret” research lab, working on cutting-edge technologies like the driverless car and Google contact lenses. These lenses are a soon to-be-released product designed to monitor glucose levels for diabetes patients. They also help users who can’t read without glasses to focus their eyes.
Google X has just taken another big step in the lucrative biotech sphere through its acquisition of Lift Labs, a San Francisco-based startup that makes a “smart spoon.” This device helps people suffering from tremors to steady their spoon (a fork attachment is also available) while dining.
For Google co-founder Sergey Brin, this latest move is deeply personal.
With the acquisition of Lift Labs, Brin is taking aim at Parkinson’s disease, a debilitating affliction from which his mother suffers, as do 11 million other Americans, including Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox.
In a 2009 interview with the New York Times, Brin stated that he gave himself “50-50 odds of getting Parkinson’s in 20 or so years.” Though Lift Labs is in its nascent stages, Google plans to “explore how their technology could be used in other ways” to address and manage other neurodegenerative diseases.
Lift Labs by itself will not be a huge money-maker for Google, at least not initially. But the Google X division is a burgeoning wing of Google’s rapidly diversifying product lineup.
The acquisition showcases why the company has, and will continue to be, a great investment for long-term shareholders. Google is at the cutting edge of a wide variety of technologies. Advertising and search may be its bread and butter for now, but Google isn’t resting on its laurels. The next big thing is always in the works.
Combine this potential with the safety of a mega-cap and a reasonable forward P/E of just 18.5, and we have a mega-cap growth stock that is hard to pass on.
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Tim Cook wrote, “iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — which are the biggest advancements in iPhone history…” after unveiling the most technologically advanced phone on the planet with cautious estimates have them selling 200 million of them. While we love Apple, we’re recommending a much less known company today…a company no one is talking about. A company that provides the technology, without which, smartphones couldn’t exist. Click here for the full story.