CNBC's Jim Cramer, host of Mad Money, dropped his predictions for 2008 in New York magazine this week. Along with some safe bets like "oil goes up" and "Goldman Sachs makes a lot of money," Cramer throws out some unlikely but not off-the-wall predictions about Verizon and Apple. But then when he gets to Google, he goes off the deep end.
Google continues its dominance and becomes one of the top three companies in the U.S. in market capitalization. It doubles its advertising share, at the expense of television and print. It also successfully challenges Microsoft for operating-system dominance. Microsoft calls for a government investigation of Google's power, but no one cares because Microsoft is just too hated for anyone in Washington to champion. The stock roars to $1,000.Market cap? Sure. But Google doubling its ad share? Not likely. However you want to measure "ad share," Google would have to double its revenue, at least. Last year, the company made $10 billion in revenue, a 72 percent increase over the year before. Now, with higher sales, you expect them to jump that high again? Mathematically unlikely. Check out Google's quarterly results: Theyr'e adding $200 million to $500 million in revenue a quarter, which is spectactular on its own, but not a recipe for doubling market share in a year.
And devoting so much space to Microsoft and operating systems just shows that Cramer doesn't really understand Google at all. Sure, Microsoft made a half-hearted effort to complain about the DoubleClick deal, but didn't have much to stand on. Google is far from an advertising monopoly. And what does any of this have to do with operating systems?
Cramer missed the one area where Google is actually competing with Microsoft: In Google Apps, which is trying to take down Microsoft Office, and mostly failing. Jim, you should have stopped at "GOOG goes up." It's not much of a prediction, but at least it makes sense.