New York - Shares of internet search and advertising titan Google soared more than 13 percent to pass the $1 000 (R9 775) mark for the first time on Friday after a strong earnings report.
Ad volume growth accelerated to 26 percent year on year, Morgan Stanley pointed out, showing that Google was well on top of the evolution of the market beyond personal computers to smartphones and tablets. “Rather than struggling with a mobile transition, Google is benefiting from increased screen fragmentation,” the broker said.
Google reported its earnings after trading closed on Thursday. On Friday, the shares soared in early trade, topping $1 015 before settling at the close at $1 011.41, up 13.8 percent for the day.
The surge helped push the Standard & Poor’s 500 index beyond Thursday’s all-time closing high to a fresh record of 1 744.50, up 0.7 percent.
Google’s success helped pull up shares of other tech firms, with social networking leader Facebook up 3.8 percent, online retail power Amazon up 5.8 percent, and Yahoo up 2 percent. Together they helped drive the Nasdaq Composite index to a 1.3 percent gain to 3 914.28, its highest since September 2000.
Google posted a 36 percent jump in third-quarter net profit to $2.97 billion, or $8.75 a share, it said on Thursday. Revenue also beat forecasts with a 12 percent jump year on year.
Analysts said it was doing well in all areas of business, and had proven its ability to build business on its Android smartphone platform.
“We are closing in on our goal of a beautiful, simple, and intuitive experience regardless of your device,” Google chief Larry Page told analysts.
Pivotal Research Group warned of eventual erosion of the company’s still-healthy margins, but added: “Longer term, we remain optimistic about Google’s continued success as the leading seller of display-based media and ad tech, and as the dominant provider of paid search advertising.”
At the $1 011 mark, Google shares were up 43 percent from the beginning of the year, and market value reached $337bn, shy of leader Apple’s $462bn.
Google was the second company on the S&P 500 list to top $1 000. Online travel firm Priceline was the first past the post in September, soaring to $1 074; it closed at $1 048 on Friday. - Sapa-AFP