The stock of Internet search giant Google surpassed $500 for the first time, marking another milestone in a rapid rise that has catapulted the Internet search leader into the corporate elite, an Associated Press report said.
The Associated Press report said continuing a recent surge driven by Wall Street's high expectations for the company, Google's shares rose $14.60, or nearly 3%, to close at $509.65 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
That left Google with a market value of about $156 billion just eight years after former Stanford University graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin started the business in a Silicon Valley garage, the report said.
The Mountain View-based company now ranks as Silicon Valley's second most valuable business, eclipsing the likes of Intel, the world's largest computer chip maker, and Hewlett-Packard, a high-tech pioneer that also famously started in a garage 67 years ago, the report said.
With a market value of about $163 billion, networking equipment maker Cisco Systems is the only Silicon Valley firm worth more, the report said.
Google's remarkable success has minted Page and Brin, both 33, as multibillionaires along with their hand-picked CEO, Eric Schmidt.Hundreds of other Google employees are millionaires because so many investors want to own a piece of a company that has become the Internet's most powerful financial force while building a brand so ingrained in society that it has become part of the English language.