At $300, Google's wealth amounts to $83.4 billionGoogle
's shares rose above $300 after less than a year as a publicly listed company, generating the most used Internet search engine's status as the world's largest media company by market value. Google was founded in September 1998 and it first sold shares to the public in August last year at $85.- per share. Above $300 Google's shares more than tripled since the IPO
. The Mountain View company
surpassed Time Warner, owner of the 83-year-old Time magazine and the Warner Bros. movie studios, as the industry's most valuable company on June 6. Google has a market value of $83.4 billion. Time Warner is valued at $79.4 billion. The stock's gains have been propelled by a surge in profit and optimism that the company's efforts to expand beyond search- based advertising may fuel growth. Google said last week it was developing a payment service. First-quarter net income surged almost sixfold to $369.2 million
, as new features lured more users and sales of online advertising outside the U.S. expanded. Analysts on average expect profit this year, excluding some costs, to climb to $5.22 a share from $2.51 in 2004, according to Thomson Financial. Revenue may climb 12% to $3.56 billion
. Google's stock performance this year mirrors the moves in Yahoo and Amazon
during their first year after going public. Yahoo more than doubled, while Amazon nearly tripled and eBay soared more than 20-fold. Wall Street firms still recommend investors purchase the shares. Among 32 analysts, 25 rate Google a "buy", seven call it a "hold" and none say "sell". Smith Barney's Mark Mahaney has the highest 12-month price estimate for the stock at $360. Google's largest holders are also optimistic. All 10 of the asset managers with the biggest stakes added to their holdings, according filings from at least March. Fidelity Investments
who is Google's biggest holder, boosted its stake by 46% to 17.5 million shares in April and May. Google's shares are less expensive relative to earnings forecasts than Yahoo and about inline with Amazon. They fetch 57 times this year's average profit estimate, compared with Yahoo's 62 times and Amazon's 55 times. The stock has a lower price-earnings-to-growth, or PEG, ratio at 1.8. This measure, comparing the price-earnings ratio to the projected growth rate for the company, is 2 for Yahoo and 2.4 for Amazon. Google's market value exceeds the $72 billion spent on television and cable advertising last year
. The company is now the world's 41st largest by value, bigger than Deutsche Telekom, Europe's biggest phone company and Amgen, the largest biotechnology company, even though it falls short of the top 500 by sales or net income.
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