Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock price has surged a solid 41% so far in 2015. This is particularly impressive, given how large a company Google is. Other than Google’s search engine business, Alphabet has quite a few things going for it. If things go well, the GOOG stock price could receive another boost.
Google Cloud Services
For a company whose own business runs on its cloud infrastructure, it makes sense for Google to move further into its cloud services. Most recently, the company announced that Diane Greene, one of Google’s board members, would lead the company’s cloud business. Greene was the cofounder of cloud services company VMware Inc. (NYSE:VMW). Under her new assignment, Greene will lead a new team combining all of Google’s cloud businesses, including “Google for Work,” “Cloud Platform,” and “Google Apps.” (Source: “Investing in Our Business for the Future,” Google Cloud Platform Blog, November 19, 2015.)
Other than making Greene the head of its cloud business, Google also agreed to acquire her cloud startup, Bepop. According to Google, “Bepop is a new development platform that makes it easy to build and maintain enterprise applications.” (Source: Ibid.) Acquiring Bepop and its skilled team will help Google provide integrated cloud products at many different levels.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, believes that this is just the beginning of the company’s cloud service business. He said, “only a tiny fraction of the world’s data is currently in the cloud—most businesses and applications aren’t cloud-based yet.” (Source: Ibid.)
Google has also managed to enter people’s living rooms when it first launched a video-streaming device called “Chromecast” in July 2013. The device costs just $35.00 and has been quite a success. In 2014, Chromecast was the top-selling streaming device in the U.S. (Source: “Google Q4 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript,” Seeking Alpha, last accessed November 30, 2015.)
Recently, Google introduced the second generation of Chromecast. The new Chromecast looks more like a hockey puck with a four-inch HDMI cable attached. The small, round device comes in a variety of colors. The second-generation Chromecast features a faster processor and can connect with speedy wireless networks. For $35.00, the new Chromecast allows users to cast video from any compatible app to their TV, just like the original Chromecast.
There is also a new “Chromecast Audio.” The puck-like device looks just like the video version, but instead of using an HDMI connection, Chromecast Audio uses a 3.5 mm audio jack. Chromecast Audio offers an appealing proposition: for $35.00, you can add streaming music to any hi-fi speaker system.
Google’s Driverless Car
It looks like companies in both the automotive industry and the tech industry have plans for driverless cars and Google is a big contender in the game. On November 24, the company secured a patent for a system that effectively allows its driverless cars to talk to pedestrians.
The driverless cars would be equipped with light-up signs on the front bumper or the side of the vehicle. The sign would say things like “safe to cross” or “coming through.” There would also be a robotic hand making gestures to pedestrians and other drivers. (Source: “Patent No. US 9,196,164 B1,” United States Patent and Trademark Office, November 24, 2015.)
In an effort to further its development of driverless cars, Google has hired software engineer Robert Rose from Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA). Robert Rose was the lead software engineer for SpaceX’s “Falcon 9” and “Dragon” flight programs. Later on, he joined Tesla to lead the Autopilot team and helped to develop Tesla’s “Autopilot V7.0,” which enabled auto-steer and auto-lane change. (Source: “Google Looks to Tesla, SpaceX Talent in Driverless Car Push,” Bidness ETC, November 30, 2015.)
The Bottom Line on GOOG Stock
Google is a search engine behemoth, but people should also realize the potential of many projects the company is currently working on. Combining the consistent performance of its core business and the growth prospects of its projects, the GOOG stock price could very well climb higher as stories unfold.