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Google Worth $18 Billion?
Internal valuation for acquisitions...

 1:54 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Interesting article here [cbs.marketwatch.com]. It seems that Google is valuing itself at $18 billion, at least as a starting point in negotiating stock-based acquisitions. The article compares Google's valuation with that of older firms like Yahoo and Amazon that have larger and more diverse revenue streams.



 2:02 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

If they bought Friendster it would defently be a completetly different road ahead, a bit like InterActiveCorp in a way owning different types of webproperties.

Some friendster investors [bayarea.com]

Tim Koogle worked for Yahoo (Former CEO) and Michael Moritz was on the board there.
Peter Thiel former PayPal Chief Executive worked with guess who Michael Moritz, who represented Sequoia Capital's investment.
And guess who else invested in Friendster Ram Shriram, yes he's already on the Google board.

I must say it it sure interesting, i am not trying to make any specific point just some observations.

[edited by: lazerzubb at 2:25 pm (utc) on Sep. 30, 2003]


 2:08 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just checked dates.google.com and there's no Goggle Dates ... lol

Microsoft have Bill Gates ... Google wants Google Dates



 2:14 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

So it's more of a side interest for the board then. From what I am getting from a couple of articles it is suggested that Google may purchase Friendster but have nothing to do with it on the business front. I guess the board will tinker though.



 2:28 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

18 billion is insane
i dont care what anyone says , google is a fantastic search engine, but it is not property, what happends if it went on the market and hypothetically all seachers leaves it all of a sudden?.

Because of the lack of REAL assets and infrastructure and real face to face business.
There stock will go from 100 dollars to 5 cents.

I mean maybe 1 billion is probably more accurate, i mean what happens when yahoo and aol drop google.

I mean i think it is alot smarter to wait for the competition to show there goods before making an investment mistake.


 2:41 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I envy all these companies getting an automatic 20 multiple valuation ....If and only if i can get that kind of valuation for my business i can retire forever :)


 2:46 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree with penfold25 , I read somewhere in the news that Google was worth around $6 billion , but how the hell did it get upto 18 billion? And the place where I read it was a review and a story of "Google Plex" , but $18 billion is just too crazy, And anyway, AFAIK re-searchers want service, they don't care who's it is, Well, Thats how I thought when a didn't know a thing about search engine's



 3:07 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think $18 billion sounds too crazy. sure, it's a LOT of money, but it could very well be true. I have developed a couple sites that were worth a couple million after the first year. And still, they were nothing compared to Google.

So a few thousand times that... yeah, I can believe $18 billion...


 3:20 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

so can i
but if it floats for 18 billion.
MSN releases the best search engine and some ppl leave google
then yahoo takes it results away from google
aol takes its results from google
as well as many other sites.

it will be a disaster for the stock.
I think its very bad idea to overvalue it


 3:30 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google may have revenue of $X, right now, but just how much money will it raise from its IPO?

Add that horde of cash, raised by the IPO, to Google's value. It will get the cash so add it to Googles value.

Now, Google has $X billion in cash on hand from it's IPO.

Where does that money go?

X goes to the holders of different rounds of financing. Reduce Google's value accordingly.

X goes into Google's coffers, yes?

Google now uses those dollars to acquire new technology (buy companies, buy patents). Google branches into new realms: Google auctions? Google dating?

Google expands the brand.

At the end of the day it wouldn't surprise me if Google has a market cap that holds in that kind of range. Smart management. Conserving and expanding the brand and brand experience.

Of course, in the ether world of the Web, anything else is possible.


 3:44 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I definitely agree on that point webwork, but that is not what i meant.
I mean if market changes do occur, the value could change dramatically. Should be cautious thats all. Microsoft does have 40 billion in cash.
Search has been volatile for many companies, so i think ppl should not be blind to the fact that it might go bad as well as good.

I mean google will always be good, but the 18 billion value is unjustified, and until it does, we should not ASSUME it should be that value, cos markets can be volatile.


 3:54 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

If Google buys Friendster, I am going give to up trying to make sense of the world.


 4:09 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Now, Google has $X billion in cash on hand from it's IPO.

Doesn't the $X go into the shareholders' pockets and not Googles? I don't follow the logic.

They would have to do a rights issue after the IPO to get investors' cash. If they overvalue at the start and the share nosedives, a rights issue will be a disaster.


 5:05 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<I don't follow the logic. >>

No logic involoved here. :)

Just an extremely inflated evaluation, IMO.


 5:26 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is certainly inflated for what it is worth today, but I can see that kind of valuation a little bit down the road if Google plays things right. Adsense is still young but may bring in oodles of cash (through making adwords a juggernaut) as it matures. May eclipse Overture by a longshot.

Now friendster, that's an even bigger joke. It was overhyped from the beginning. Anyone here on it? I tried it. No big deal at all. A "cute" idea that isn't well implemented is as far as I'd go. I CAN'T believe Google is considering the purchase. What a waste.

Any good programmer could create a better friendster in a pretty short time. Nothing special, no barrier to entry, no serious revenue model (unless thing changed a LOT since I last looked), makes no sense. The founders probably have a damn good friend or relative that is a hotshot VC.


 5:32 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Perhaps Google is valuing itself on the Yahoo model: 125 times last year's earnings ;)

Actually, the anecdotal evidence about google's earnings would make that about right....


 5:38 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Didn't the article say something about a $1 billion revenue year for Google?


 5:38 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Let's take this self valuation with a grain of salt. The entire theory behind the article is based more or less on rumors and hearsay that Google self-valued itself at $18 billion. Who knows what they really said or value themselves at. If Page, Brin or any other top level Google administrator is not directly quoted making this statement, - don't take this article too serious.

jeremy goodrich

 5:44 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

What's the general rule for valuing a public company...? (I know, they aren't public - yet).

But if their revenue this year was predicted at even 1 billion, AND they just announced that they have 150,000 advertisers - compared to Overture's 95,000 (and they are on track to do 1.2 billion in revenue) then Google is spot on.

Consider that their market share of the search market / and that they cover at least the same search volume Overture does - then, add to that the fact that they have 1.5 times the number of advertisers paying them money.

Given that, I'd put this year's revenue to closer to 1.5/ 1.8 billion, so at the high end of that, they are valuing themselves at 10 times *current* annual earnings. For a public company, that is *very* conservative - for a private, very agressive.

Now consider that it was in October that they had an "internal deadline" of filing some paperwork that was only required of publically held companies, some "sarbanes - oakley act" or some such, don't remember the exact name off hand.

With all the above outlined, imho, Google is right on to claim an internal valuation of that - even higher is possible, but given the instability of the search engine space over the long term, it makes more sense to go conservative - as they have done here.


 6:11 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Its very interesting that a company with no liquid or moveable assetes can clam that they are worth 18 billion dollars. I think its a load of crap.


 6:41 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Jeremy, I agree. I think their number of advertisers will be growing by leaps and bounds. One year from now that number will be simply huge, unless they radically change what they're doing or some other player not only comes in to do search better, but convinces people of it.


 7:08 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Stop it guys, Googleguy is now floating himself..

Sure Google should potentially be valued higher than Yahoo.

Its just that Yahoo is way overvalued (PE 124). Price Earnings still have to find reality with some stocks.

I do not see Yahoo increasing its current profit tenfold in the years to come.


 7:19 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Given that, I'd put this year's revenue to closer to 1.5/ 1.8 billion, so at the high end of that, they are valuing themselves at 10 times *current* annual earnings. For a public company, that is *very* conservative - for a private, very agressive.

For those of you who've never taken accounting:

There is a HUGE difference between revenue and earnings!

Not that I'm an expert, but a service company selling for 10x sales in not at all common.


 7:27 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's right Polarisman. Actually Overture is currently valued at 2 times sales. That would put google at a value of 2 billion if the revenues are 1 billion if you used the same yardstick.


 7:34 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

And the valuation guys are not pricing in the new-from-nowhere mega search engine which will wipe the floor with Google in 2 years time. That'll be the one I start. I just need to do some beginners programming courses first!

Learning Curve

 7:57 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Gawd, another bubble would be nice!

This time I have something to sell. :)


 8:00 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Overall, valuation of a web search and web advertising busiss is bound to have a higher uncertainty factor than in a brick & mortar business with diverse revenue streams. Certainly, brick & mortar businesses can fall on hard times, but rarely as swiftly as a mostly virtual business. Look at the relatively rapid slide from apparent prosperity to obscurity at AltaVista or Excite. The more diverse Google's operations become, the lower the risk; no doubt that's the objective of some of the planned acquisitions.


 9:19 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

With the whole Google may buy Friendster theory, I could see a few reasons to do so.

The first would be there is a rumor that Friendster may start to charge, perhaps if google comes in they can absorb the cost and add features like they did to Blogger.

The second may be a slight movement toward to the portal world, while still keeping its search seperate. Message boards, personal messages, linking by interests...

The third would be millions of impressions/page views and there could much targeting for the ads, think interests and favorite music.

Personally I think Friendster could be much improved and is not a perfect community, however, it is a start and if Google does not buy it, someone else might.


 10:18 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

How many members do they have. Question 2, how many members came back after the first 2 days?


 10:50 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

value of google name....priceless:)

This 45 message thread spans 2 pages: 45 ( [1] 2 > >
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