Wall Street analysts hoped Larry Page would lay out his vision for Google on his first earnings call as CEO. Instead Page spoke briefly, took no questions and left. Now it's downgrade time.
Analysts are especially peeved because Google's costs spiked 54 percent recently following a 2010 hiring binge. Rather than explain the increase, Page "came on the line for a few minutes, expressed his optimism in the company, then signed off without entertaining questions," according to Reuters.
Now, says the newswire, analysts are all, "WTF seriously?!" Or as one, RCM Capital Management's Walt Price, put it, "Maybe (Google) doesn't want to talk about it, but their multiple is going to go down until they do." Or as Citi's Mark Mahaney put it following a rare Google downgrade, "We would have wanted Larry to stick around for Q&A."
Page has long been known as more taciturn than fellow Google founder Sergey Brin and than Page's predecessor as CEO Eric Schmidt. He's also been a major advocate of Google's arm's length relationship with Wall Street. But unless he also wants to be known as the boss who nuked every employee's hefty stock holdings and bonus, Page will have to learn to pay a bit more lip service to the suits.
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