Google investigates IPO

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the popular search engine giant disclosed that profits soared in the six months of 2004, to $143 million compared with nearly $58 million in the same period last year. Sales reached $1.4 billion, up from about $560 million in the same period last year. While computer users around the world access Google to search the Internet for information free of charge, the company derives virtually all of its sales and profits from ads that accompany the search results. Google estimated a price range for its initial public offering of $108 per share to $135 per share. At the share prices proposed by the company, the popular Silicon Valley-based company would have a stock market valuation of about $30 billion, setting a record for an IPO and giving it a valuation greater than many established technology companies. Google still has not set a firm date for its IPO, but the company’s lawyers are working closely with the SEC in an effort to get the deal to market. In the IPO, Google said 24.6 million shares will be offered to investors. Of that total, 14.1 million will be sold by the company and 10.5 million will be sold by existing stockholders. Google estimated that it will reap about $1.6 billion itself from the offering, with the total offering valued at an estimated $3 billion.