Google shares top $400 threshold

Shares in Google have risen above $400 each for the first time, capping a strong period of growth for the Internet search firm. Google shares closed up $5.30, or 1.3%, at $403.45, giving the firm a higher market value than stalwarts Coca-Cola, Walt Disney and Cisco Systems. Google's shares were valued at $85 each when the company listed on the US Nasdaq stock market 15 months ago. Analysts have been excited by the growth potential of new products. Growth strategy The latest of these is Google Base - unveiled on Wednesday - which will enable people to search for different information collected from consumers and businesses. Other recent initiatives include a plan to supply miniature satellite maps to mobile phones as well as a controversial online library service providing digital prints of books. The market has also been encouraged by Google's financial performance. The company reported a sharp rise in profits in the last quarter, as net income rose to $381.2m (£215m) from $52m in the same period last year. Sales in the three months to the end of September totalled $1.57bn - 96% higher than the same period in 2004. Most of the Google's revenue comes from advertising sales.

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