Google to sell shares at $108 to $135


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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Google said Monday it would sell 24.6 million shares in its initial public offering at an estimated price range of $108 to $135 per share, giving a long-awaited indication of what the leading Internet search company believes it is worth.

That would mean that between $2.66 billion and $3.32 billion in stock would be sold in the IPO, which is expected to happen in August. However, the amount the company itself expects to raise is $1.66 billion, because some of the shares being offered are being sold by existing stockholders.

Overall, Google, which is offering only 9 percent of its stock in the IPO, would have a market capitalization between $29 billion and $36 billion, counting shares held by insiders.

The average market cap in the S&P 500 is $21.25 billion. At $36 billion, Google would be worth more than such corporate stalwarts as McDonald's and Sony and almost as much as drugstore giant Walgreen. Google rival Yahoo has a market cap of nearly $38 billion.

Google shares will be distributed in an auction designed to give the general public a better chance to buy stock before shares begin trading. In the past, companies' IPO shares have been restricted to an elite group picked by investment bankers handling the deal.

Once trading of the shares begins on the Nasdaq Stock Market, Mountain View, Calif.-based Google expects to have the ticker symbol ``GOOG.''

Google's filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission gave an updated picture on the company's booming growth, fueled almost entirely by advertising linked to online searches.

For the three months ended June 30, Google earned $79.1 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with $32.2 million, or 12 cents per share, in the same period last year. Sales more than doubled, to $700 million in the latest period from $311 million last year.

In the first six months of 2004, the company earned $143 million, 54 cents per share, on revenue of $1.35 billion. In the comparable period last year, the company's profit was $58.0 million, 23 cents per share, on revenue of $560 million.

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