Alphabet Inc shares rose about 8% after the company reported second-quarter revenue and earnings beats.
Unfortunately, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has not reigned in Democrat bias and activism from its business which has put it in the cross-hairs about antitrust rules and violating free speech laws. Google also faces a slowdown in ad sales in the United States and Europe as the global economy slows.
Sundar Pichai also announced that Alphabet has authorized up to $25 billion in new stock buybacks, aiming to make use of its $121 billion in cash. Again, Sundar Pichai is not reading the mood of the country well at all. During a time when politicians and the public are increasingly aware of how share buybacks are taking away from wage increases and hiring U.S. workers, it’s a pretty pompous move to announce $25 billion in new stock buybacks. Worse, the public is also aware of how Google brings in people from other countries on work visas to avoid paying higher wages for American workers.
This year, 199,000 H-1B visa petitions were received within the first five days of the application period.
First we were told that illegal immigrants taking U.S. jobs was because most Americans did not want to work in fields picking grapes and stuff. Most Americans are too smart for these jobs so don’t worry about illegal immigrants taking lower paying jobs, we were told. Then we were told that non-citizens taking higher paying tech jobs was ok because Americans are too stupid and most of the brains and talent is in India or other countries. So which is it? Are Americans too smart or too stupid to lose their jobs to non-citizens?
Sundar Pichai has done an extremely bad job at measuring the mood of the country and adapting. Instead he’s dug in his heals effectively doubling down on share buybacks and H-1B visa employment. Worse Pichai appears to be drawing mounting law-suits from people who have been banned or blocked from advertising on Google. Pichai should have fired a lot of the Democrat corporate officers at the company and sought to create a more diverse corporate culture. I mean the political bias is so bad at Google that Senator Ted Cruz pointed out that the senior leadership at Google had 88 top Google officers contributing to the Hillary Clinton campaign, while zero contributed to the Trump campaign.
Pichai should have jumped into action and sought to diversify his top officers. Instead, Pichai seems to have doubled down on lobbyist contributions, spending $18.3 million in 2017, and $21.7 million in 2018. Since Pichai failed to diversify his corporate culture and instead embraced and promoted further left bias at Google, it has now spilled over into search engine algorithms and “ML fairness” that is now causing lawsuits over intolerance of both Democrats and Republicans with differing views. Employees at Google are even jumping ship and exposing the bias inside the company.
What a mess Google has become because Pichai did not take concrete steps to get political bias out of the company early on and now that bias has spilled over into its consumer products!
FAAG stocks (Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, and Google) always look bullish but I just can’t pull the buy trigger on Google stock knowing that it’s being ran in such a politically biased way so as to invite greater scrutiny by law makers as well as lawsuits by people who are banned on its platform. I just can’t buy a stock where the CEO brags about a new $25 billion stock buyback during a populous movement to stop buybacks and instead hire American workers with that money (416,600 U.S. workers paid $60,000 each for a year could be hired for $25 billion). How is announcing a $25 billion share buyback going to help improve Google’s public image? Putting the merits aside, a good CEO does not make such careless moves with investors money IMO.
Google stock is very expensive right now too. The stock trades at a P/E of 22.8. Worse, Google did $142 billion in sales last year but its market cap values the company at $770.8 billion. That’s 540% overvalued relative to its annual sales. Fairly valued companies usually have a market cap roughly equal to annual revenue.
Disclosure: I do not hold any position in GOOG stock.