Google’s Share Price Breaks Above $900 for the First Time on New Product Updates

on May 16, 2013
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Google’s share price rose to a record at the close in New York on Wednesday, May 15 after the world’s most popular Web search provider announced the launch of a music subscription service and a major overhaul of Google Maps. At its annual I/O developers conference in San Francisco the company also showed off new tools for search, photo editing and to-do lists, along with features for Android and Chrome apps and voice commands similar to iPhone’s Siri.

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“To see such a large company attack so many fronts with such agility is rare and, evidently for the market, inspires confidence,” opined James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as quoted by Bloomberg.
**Radio without rules**
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is tapping into the growing music-streaming market with All Access – a music subscription service that gives users access to millions of songs that can be streamed over the Internet. The service, described by Google as “radio without rules”, will also allow users to store up to 20,000 songs that they have already purchased “in the cloud”, meaning that people will be able to access their personal record collections via mobile devices from anywhere in the world. All Access will have a monthly subscription fee of $9.99.

With this move Google is challenging popular online music providers such as Spotify and Napster in a market which has been rapidly growing in recent years. It also aims to give more reasons to consumers to use smarphones and tablets running on the Android operating system, which is the most widely used software in smartphones.
**Google Maps Revamped**

The other big announcement from Google on Wednesday was the major overhaul of Google Maps designed to ensure that the Web search giant will remain the leader in online mapping. Map applications have become essential tools for software and hardware makers to attract more users, especially on mobile devices. They’ve also become important advertising platforms with their ability to display local businesses and attractions such as restaurants, shops, museums and theatres.

The upgrade to Google Maps provides better recommendations for places to visit based on the personal preferences of the users. The app also comes with easier-to-use local search to the benefit of both advertisers and users. The overhaul allows maps to change in real time, for example to give additional suggestions for places to visit within a certain area or a city.

The preview version of the new Google Maps has been tailored for the desktop and not yet for mobile devices but the upgrade would be eventually available across all platforms, according to Jonah Jones, lead designer at Google Maps.
**Share Price at Post-IPO Peak**
!m[Launch of Music Subscription Service and Major Revamp of Maps Fuel Investors’ Optimism](/uploads/story/2310/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)
Google’s share price surged 3.2 percent to $915.89 at Wednesday’s close in New York on Wednesday, the highest level since the initial public offering in 2004. The stock has gained 29 percent so far this year, outperforming the 16 percent rise in the S&P 500 index.
Google had its “overweight” rating restated by Morgan Stanley analysts in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. They currently have a $996 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $932.
**The Google share price (pre-market) was $918.45 as of 12.20 GMT, 16.05.2013**

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