In a show of Wall Street’s faith, Google’s stock surged past $900 for the first time to propel the company’s market value beyond $300 billion for the first time. Google shares gained $28.79, or more than 3 percent, to close at $915.89. The latest milestone came less than three months after Google shares surpassed $800 for the first time. The stock has increased 55 percent since Page, Google’s co-founder, succeeded his mentor, Eric Schmidt, as CEO two years ago.
In contrast, investors have become exasperated with rival Apple’s lack of breakthrough products since its visionary CEO Steve Jobs died in October 2011. Apple’s stock has plunged by nearly 40 percent since last September, leaving the shares at $428.85. Still, Apple’s market value remains nearly $100 billion higher than Google’s.
Page, 40, seemed to share some of that frustration Wednesday in a rare 45-minute appearance that capped a three-and-half hour presentation of Google’s latest products. His appearance came the day after he disclosed that both his vocal cords have been hobbled to the point that it makes it difficult to speak for extended periods – and sometimes breathe when exercising.
Without mentioning Apple by name, Page said more companies need to develop products “outside their comfort zone.” It’s something that Page says he has also insisted on Google doing since he started the company with Sergey Brin in 1998. Some of the gambles, like expansions into digital mapping and email, have paid off.
Others, such as creating an alternative to Wikipedia and a social networking service called Buzz, have been flops. “Every time we have tried to do something crazy, we have usually made progress,” Page said. “So we have been emboldened.”
The latest examples of audacious Google experiments that appear likely to become viable products include autonomously driven cars and Google Glass, an Internet-connected device with a built-in camera and small display screen that can be worn around a person’s face like a pair of spectacles. Several Google employees and developers who bought a test version of Google Glass were wearing the device as they walked around the conference.<< previous 1 2 3 next >>