Following an story in the UK's Sunday Business newspaper, it was widely reported by other media outlets that Google was expecting to go public by the end of the year. The company strongly denies that this is the case.
"We do expect to be profitable by the end of the year, but we're not currently meeting with bankers and we have no plans for an IPO at this time," said spokesperson Cindy McCaffrey.
The story that sparked the rumors suggests in its opening paragraph that a stock market float could happen by the end of the year. However, Google says this is speculation on the part of the writer, rather than any timings that Google provided.
"I can tell you definitively that Sergey did not say anything about timing for an IPO," said McCaffrey, who sat in on the Sunday Business interview.
In the article, Google cofounder Sergey Brin does say that the company will probably go public in the future, but he's not quoted as saying it will happen by the end of year, nor does he give any particular timeframe. Instead, Brin's only comment on timing is, "None of this is urgent."
The article also mentions that analysts expect that Google could be earning $50 million annually, by 2002. I found that interesting, given that Google has steadfastly said it isn't meeting with bankers and doesn't give out its current revenue figures. So, how are these numbers being calculated?
"No idea!," McCaffrey said, adding that the original estimates in the Sunday Business article came out of a Financial Times article where unnamed analysts speculated on Google's revenues and possible market capitalization.
Internet Search Engine Google Defies Downturn in Tech Market
Sunday Business, June 27, 2001
The article that started it all, republished on the E-Commerce Times web site.
Google seeks global fame
Financial Times, June 8, 2001
Original source of the potential Google revenue figures.