Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
(Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP)
Wall Street's exclusive $1,000 club might be about to get a new member: Google.
The Internet company showed again late Thursday just how lucrative its business of collecting and selling consumers' personal data to the highest bidder has become. Those surging profits arepowering Google's stock to levels not seen by many companies.
Google reported a profit of nearly $3 billion during the third quarter, up 36% from a year earlier and exceeding estimates. That powerful gain was immediately noticed by traders who pushed shares of the Internet company up almost 8% in after-hours trading to $958.89, surpassing the stock's all-time closing high. Shares closed down $9.23, or 1%, to $888.79 in regular trading Thursday.
EARNINGS: Google shares surge on quarterly results
If the after-hours gains stick in regular trading Friday, Google could soon become the fourth company trading on a major exchange to have a stock price of $1,000 or more. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway remains the king of the high per-share stock price at $175,286. That's followed by pork processor Seaboard and its $2,797.86 share price. Name-your-own price retailer Priceline is the newest addition to the $1,000-a share-club at $1,032.15.
Much of this race to $1,000, though, is merely a numbers game and doesn't say much else about the companies. Even before Thursday's after-hours move, Google had a market value of $300 billion, already surpassing the $288 billion value of Berkshire Hathaway and swamping the $3.3 billion value of Seaboard.