Searching For Billions
For the past six months, Silicon Valley has been buzzing with the prospect of tech's first blockbuster public offering since the dotcom crash: search engine juggernaut Google's IPO is expected in a couple of weeks. But Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin seem determined to spoil the party. Last week the company gave an unusually bullish official estimate of its opening share price: $108 to $135 per share, or more than 150 times annual profit per share.

Historically, most large companies average about one-seventh of that. Google watchers were split...

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