News Column

Google Stock Hits $900, Magic Continues

May 16, 2013

Jeremy C. Owens

google

Google's (GOOG) magical 2013 on Wall Street continued Wednesday, with the stock catapulting past the $900 level as the search giant kicked off its annual developers conference.

Google shares sold for as much as $911.76 in Wednesday's morning session in New York, which ended at 9 a.m. Pacific time with Google stock selling for $908.95, a daily gain of 2.8 percent. At the intraday record set Wednesday, Google had gained nearly 29 percent in 2013, adding more than $200 to its price -- the stock also surpassed $800 for the first time this year, in February.

Google's performance indicates investors are pleased with its growth and plans for future revenue generation. The Mountain View search giant elbowed past Cisco (CSCO) to become the fourth-largest Silicon Valley technology company in 2012 by revenue, increasing sales by more than 35 percent to $51.4 billion. Growth continued in the first quarter of 2013, when Google's revenues increased 31 percent and profits gained 16 percent year-over-year, with net income of $3.35 billion on gross revenues of $13.97 billion.

While those numbers are impressive, one of Google's selling points is its focus on developing new technologies that will spark more growth. While it brings in billions from selling advertising in its market-leading search engine, YouTube video site and globally leading mobile operating system Android, it also recently began selling the wearable Google Glass device and continues to work on driverless cars and other futuristic endeavors such as mapping the human brain.

"Companies tend to get comfortable doing what they've always done," CEO and cofounder Larry Page said in the company's most recent quarterly earnings conference call, in April. "My job as CEO is to get people to do new things."

Analysts consistently mention Google's drive to develop new technologies that could lead to additional revenue when discussing the company.

"They're taking advantage of, and really cultivating these relatively newer businesses," Wedge Partners analyst Martin Pyykkonen told Bloomberg News last month.

Google passed its stock milestone as the company introduced even more new offerings at its annual I/O developers conference, including a streaming-music offering that will challenge Oakland-based Pandora. For more on the technologies Google is announcing Wednesday, watch the live stream of the event and a live blog from TechFiles columnist Troy Wolverton.

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(c)2013 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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