It’s been a year for tech.
With much of the brick-and-mortar economy either shut down or suffering from reduced traffic, people use the internet for all their shopping and entertainment needs. The pandemic has been a veritable windfall for the likes of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and its peers.
And you know a company dominates its industry when its name becomes a verb.
We don’t “search the internet for something.” We “Google it.” Precious few companies can boast that level of dominance.
But does that make Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) a solid company to invest in?
The effects of the pandemic on Alphabet are a little more complicated. While internet usage has been higher, meaning more eyeballs on Google searches, it’s important to remember how it actually makes money.
Google’s primary revenue stream is online advertising. And many of the largest advertisers are in the COVID-wrecked entertainment and travel sectors.
For these reasons, Alphabet didn’t enjoy the same revenue bump as some of its tech peers. Revenues for the quarter ended in June came in at $38 billion, ever so slightly lower than the $39 billion earned in the same quarter last year.
Still, flattish revenues on the quarter is hardly a major setback. And if anything it proves how resilient the company’s business model is. Amid the deepest quarterly economic contraction in history, keeping revenues from collapsing is a major accomplishment.
Let’s do a deeper dive into Alphabet using Adam O’Dell’s Green Zone Ratings system.
Alphabet’s Stock Rating
Tech stocks tend to rate high in our system. Alphabet is no exception.
Its 83 overall rating means that only 19% of the stocks in our universe rate higher. Historically, stocks with a rating over 80 have outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of three over the following 12 months.
Let’s take a look at what drives Alphabet’s stock rating.
Quality — Alphabet’s quality rating tops the charts at 99. Profitability and debt management drives Adam’s quality rating. As a software and services company, Alphabet enjoys fat profit margins and returns on assets, investment and equity. And it maintains a conservative debt profile.
Growth — Alphabet also rates highly on growth at 87. That’s remarkable considering Alphabet’s primary product — its Google search engine — is 20 years old and already ubiquitous. This is not a new product, yet its advertising revenue continues to grow like a weed. As our connected devices replace traditional media, it’s not unreasonable to expect that growth to continue.
Momentum — An object in motion tends to stay in motion. Investors are attracted to stocks that are already rising in value, which creates a positive feedback loop. Alphabet has had a solid 2020, along with the rest of the tech sector, and it rates a very respectable 90 here.
Volatility — Low volatility stocks tend to outperform their more volatile peers over the long haul. So, a high rating here means that the stock has lower volatility. Alphabet’s volatility rating is 83. This is a stable company. Its resilience during the pandemic has proven that.
Value — It’s rare to find stocks that rate well in quality, growth and value. If you want quality, you generally have to pay up for it. Alphabet is no exception. The stock rates a 28 on value, so it isn’t cheap.
Size —No surprise here. Alphabet is a massive company with a market cap just shy of $1 trillion. The company rates as a 5 on size. Smaller companies have traditionally outperformed larger companies over time.
Bottom Line: Alphabet’s shares have been trending lower over the past month along with much of the rest of the market. But its high rating in our model suggests this is a dip in the stock’s value you might want to buy.
Money & Markets contributor Charles Sizemore specializes in income and retirement topics. Charles is a regular on The Bull & The Bear podcast. He is also a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business.
Follow Charles on Twitter @CharlesSizemore.