April 29, 2004, 12:00 AM

Google ends speculation, files for IPO seeking $2.7 billion

The search engine giant—which reported net profits of $105.6 million on revenues of $961.9 million for 2003—looks to grow even bigger. It conducts about one-third of all web searches in the U.S. and 43% worldwide.


Ending long speculation about when it would do so, search engine giant Google today filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. The company says it is seeking to raise $2.7 billion in the proposed offering, and that a portion of the shares would be issued and sold by Google and a portion would be retained for sale by certain stockholders of record. The number of shares and the likely offering price were not disclosed.

The privately held Google disclosed financial results in connection with the proposed offering, reporting that net profits of $105.6 million on revenues of $961.9 million in fiscal 2003, the third consecutive year of profitability. For the quarter ending March 31, Google posted profits of $64 million on revenues of $389.6 million.

About one-third of all web searches conducted in the U.S. are on Google, according to comScore Networks Inc. Americans conduct 3 billion to 3.5 billion searches per month, and more than 1 billion of these are conducted on Google. In February, the most recent month for which comScore had information, Google controlled approximately 35% of searches conducted at major search engines by U.S. Internet users. Yahoo, its closest competitor, conducted 30% of searches by U.S. web users the same month.

Worldwide, according to comScore, Google has an even greater lead, accounting for more than 43% of all web searches. “In less than two years and in a fiercely competitive market, we estimate Google has–quite impressively–doubled its share of search activity,” says James Lamberti, vice president of comScore Networks.



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