Google Reaches Another 'Milestone' Shares Top $400 for First Time as Firm Enters New Markets
By David A. Vise Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, November 18, 2005; Page D01
Google's stock price closed above $400 a share for the first time yesterday, a move that analysts called a "milestone" in the torrid growth and extraordinary success of the Internet's most profitable public company.
At a closing price of $403.45, up $5.30, Google has a market value of more than $117 billion, putting it in a league of its own for a business that has been public for little more than a year.
Read what blon the classified-ads market that Google may be tapping into with Google Base. Likewise, Google's Gmail is going against Yahoo and Microsoft in the Internet-based e-mail field, and its Google Talk instant messaging program will have a tough time beating leading player America Online, which continues to add features for its users.
Even analysts who rate Google shares as a "buy," such as David Edwards with American Technology Research in San Francisco, wonder about the continued upswing of the stock.
"At some point, deceleration will happen," Edwards told Bloomberg News. "The question is whether that will happen next year."
Still, with revenue and profits skyrocketing from ad sales associated with Internet searches, other analysts are setting aside the skepticism that prevailed when Google went public at $85 a share and are predicting that the stock will continue to rise through the holiday season.
"This is a transforming story," said John Tinker, a managing director of Think Equity Partners LLC. "They have a great business model. We are in the second inning and not the eighth."
Safa Rashtchy -- an analyst with Piper Jaffray Cos. who has followed Google closely since its founding in 1998 -- characterized breaking through $400 a share as a "milestone" but said a blizzard of Google news in recent days was driving up the stock.
"It is tempting to look at $400 and has gone up so fast," Rashtchy said. "I'm not saying it is dirt cheap, but it could be trading much higher."