In the interests of decorum, professionalism, etc., analysts will no doubt offer careful assessments of Google's Q3 results. And the wires will bustle with stories about how ridiculous it is that a stock that went public at $85 fourteen months ago is now trading at $350ish, etc.
The real story? These results are absolutely staggering.
Google's stock price--shocking though it is--is much less amazing than Google's fundamental performance, which is simply not to be believed. A 7 year old company with a revenue run-rate of $6 billion, an annual growth rate near-100%, 43% EBITDA margins, 100%-plus return-on-invested-capital, a dominant global franchise, and already about half the cash flow of Time Warner (a 100 year-old company with 85,000 employees). As folks at net-relic Compuserve might put it: Wow.
What happens from here? God only knows. But those who are only gasping at the stock price are missing the more astonishing part of the story.
Disclosure: I don't own Google stock. I did own it, for a few minutes, after "winning" some shares on the IPO, but then I immediately flipped it on the theory that my Yahoo! and Amazon positions gave me enough Internet exposure and that I shouldn't be speculating. Since then, I've felt like shooting myself.