New to Benzinga?


Already have an account?

The History of Google Stock & the Stock Split

For those of you who didn’t invest, say, $1,000 in Google’s initial public offering (IPO) back on August 19, 2004, Google’s IPO was priced at $85 a share on that historic day.

At Google’s price of $906.66 on 8/21/17, that $1,000 investment in Google — assuming you got the IPO price — would be worth $21,333.18 in 2017.

Check out the Google stock price today:

Symbol Company Change Price
GOOGL Alphabet
+ 1.8%

And that’s just for 11 shares. Imagine if you had owned 120 shares at the time? Or 500? Google has realized a gain of 1,780%.

Main Takeaways: The History of Google Stock

  • Google went public on August 19, 2004, and sold 19,605,052 shares.
  • A 2-for-1 split occurred to create a new class of non-voting shares.
  • Alphabet, Inc was launched October 2, 2015, to explore side project that don’t fall under the Google umbrella.
  • You can invest in GOOGL by using one of Benzinga’s top picks for the best online brokers for beginners.

When Did Google Start?

Alphabet Inc., formerly known as Google, sold 19,605,052 shares on August 19, 2004, then exactly a year later, on August 18, 2005, sold another 14,25,265 shares.

As of June 2005, Google was valued at about $52 billion, and the second sale of Google shares on August 18, 2005 doubled Google’s cash stockpile to $7 billion.

Last year, Alphabet’s sales and net income were over $90.2 billion and $19.4 billion, respectively, compared to sales and net income at $968.1 million and $105.6 million in 2003.

Google Stock Split History

Google’s controversial stock split in 2014 (prior to Facebook’s IPO announcement) transpired because the company wanted to create a new class of non-voting shares.

In the 2-for-1 split, shareholders received an additional non-voting share for every share of Google stock owned.

Google’s announcement was timed strategically largely because of Facebook’s IPO; it was a way for Google to assure investors of their reign in the world of tech stocks.

Alphabet Stock

“Over time, our emerging high-usage products will likely generate significant new revenue streams for Google as well as for our partners, just as search does today.”

Larry Page

Larry Page’s dreams are elephantine; that’s why he upcycled Google into Alphabet, Inc.

In a detailed note from Larry Page, he thoughtfully describes how Google has evolved and describes in delightful, colorful brevity how Google began its new life as a company controlled by its holding company, Alphabet.

The nitty-gritty is simple. Officially, on October 2, 2015, Google restructured its business, taking its “side projects” (think driverless cars, glucose-sensing contact lenses, and longevity/anti-aging products–among hundreds of other ventures) and plopped them into companies separate from Google.

Alphabet is the parent company of these smaller companies. To see how they are set up, there are lots of interesting charts online, but this really is an easy way to break it down and see exactly what the names of the smaller companies are.

Here’s a handy list of Alphabet’s business units:

  1. Calico: A biotech research and development with the task of studying human lifespans and contributing to anti-aging.
  2. GV: Alphabet’s venture capital unit.
  3. CapitalG: A growth equity fund, CapitalG invests in companies around the world which are harnessing technologies in unique ways and thinking far into the future.
  4. Verily: Alphabet’s research organization dedicated to the study of life sciences.
  5. Waymo: An autonomous (self-driving) car development company.
  6. Nest Labs: A home automation company.
  7. X: A specialized research and development department tasked with tackling the most challenging problems in computer science and related fields.
  8. Sidewalk Labs: An Alphabet company that designs and builds urban innovations to help cities meet their many challenges.
  9. Fiber: High-speed broadband internet.
  10. Google, of course, is still alive and well, it’s just a trimmer version of its former self. It includes search, ads, YouTube, apps, Android and maps.

Should I Buy GOOGL Stock?

So, history lessons notwithstanding, how can Alphabet apply to you and me today, right now?

(By the way, if you’re wondering if Alphabet will split again so you can jump onto more palatable stock prices, think again. Alphabet has shown no signs of another split on the horizon.)

This summer, Alphabet stock hit an all-time high and rose more than 30 percent over the past year. It’s pricey. At stock prices hovering around $900+, it’s tough for most small investors to even entertain the idea of owning a slice of GOOGL pie.

However, with its far-reaching investments, from broadband cable to life sciences to driverless cars, Alphabet has its hands on everything in so many different sectors. With those vast opportunities, as well as a leadership team that dreams absolutely gigantic dreams, Google is still one of the best stocks to own—if you can stomach the price.

If you’re ready to begin investing, and want to purchase GOOGL stock, check out Benzinga’s top online brokerages.

Compare Online Brokers
Broker Commission Account Min Get Started

$6.95 for fewer than 30 trades/quarter. $0 Learn More

Flat-fee pricing: $5 per trade, Per-share pricing: $0.006-$0.01 per share ($1 minimum per trade) based on trading volume, Unbundled pricing: $0.002-$0.01 per share ($0.50-$1 minimum) based on trading volume $5,000 for individual retirement accounts (IRAs) Learn More

$4.95 volume discount available $0 Learn More

Free $0 Learn More

$0.005 per share minimum $1 and maximum 0.5% of trade value; volume discount available $0 for cash account, or a margin account with $2,000 Learn More