Google Stock Downgraded to Hold; Authorizes Stock Repurchase Program

Soleil Securities has downgraded Google stock (GOOG) from “buy” to “hold.” Their reasoning is that ad-driven companies will see a slowdown to the weak economy and that Google is already experiencing a slowdown in growth of their ad revenues. Soleil analyst Laura Martin downgraded the price target for GOOG from $580 to $350. GOOG was at $334 at the time of this post.

Google will hold its 2008 third quarter earnings call and webcast next week.

Meanwhile, has announced a stock repurchase program. The program will last 18 months and the company may buy up to $2 million of outstanding common stock.

“The board of directors has confidence in our company,” said Heath Clarke, chairman and chief executive officer. “ is a leader in the rapidly growing local search market with both patented and patent-pending technologies. We are gaining significant market share, increasing our organic traffic, growing our direct advertiser base and, as a result, projecting continued high growth.”

LOCM was at 1.89 at the time of this post. Its high is 2.36 and its low is 1.78.

Both GOOG and LOCM trade on the Nasdaq which was up 4.40 points at the time of this post.

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