Google stock breaks $500 barrier

Google stock has jumped above $500 for the first time today, leaving the shares up nearly 500% since the world's No. 1 search engine went public little more than 2 years ago.

Shares of Google were trading at about $509.10 at the time of rising showing a sharp rise since March when they were worth just $330.

The news that many lawyers are supposedly circling the company ready to strike with copyright lawsuits since it confirmed it had bought social networking site YouTube last month has seems to have had little affect on the share price.

Google is up more than 20% this year, far outperforming fellow Internet giants Yahoo, eBay and Amazon.com, whose shares have all slumped in 2006.

The news means that if you bought in at launch in August 2004 you would make a profit of $429 per share before fees.

Based on the most recent regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and using current stock prices, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page each own approximately $15.4 billion worth of Google stock. Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt's holdings in Google are worth about $5.7 billion.

The three executives have sold some of their stakes in Google since the IPO, but Schmidt, Brin and Page also have agreed to receive just $1 in annual salary from Google.
Normally companies elect to split their stock when the price of one share approaches $100 to incise in small investors who are normally put off by high prices however Google has said that it is not willing or planning to do this in the short term.