Shares in internet search engine Google jumped 20pc on the first day of trading. However, despite the first-day jump, the debut generated much less money than the company originally expected after it launched an unorthodox auction aimed at opening the stock beyond the large investors who typically get a first crack at stock issues.
Google sold 19.6 million shares at US$85 each in the biggest IPO so far by an internet company. Shares ended trading at US$100, valuing the company at U$27.2bn and raking founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stakes at US$4.35bn. Trade range from a high of US$104.06 to a low of US$95.96.
The IPO also brought instant riches to hundreds of employees of a company that was dreamed up in a college dorm room in 1998 but soon became synonymous with internet searches.
About 1,000 of Google’s nearly 2,300 employees are now millionaires on paper, according to an analysis by Salary.com, which tracks employee compensation.
Shares in Google dipped slightly in after-hours trading, but analysts expect the shares to be well supported in the weeks ahead as buyers who missed out on the auction place bids.
The US$27.2m valuation after the first day of trading placed Google on par with New York Stock Exchange stalwart General Motors.
By John Kennedy