Google shares cross $ 600 threshold for first time

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NEW YORK, Oct 8 (Reuters) Shares of Web search leader Google Inc. hit a new benchmark of 0 in early trading on Monday, fueled by investor confidence in the strength of its Internet advertising technology.

Google shares briefly hit 0 for the first time, a key threshold for the company which priced at per share at its initial public offering in 2004.

In recent weeks, some analysts have forecast the company could reach a 0 share price in the next year as it competes more fiercely with rival Yahoo Inc. and gains a foothold in new forms of Web marketing, including online video.

On Friday, Bear Stearns was the latest firm to say Google could hit the 0 mark, calling it one of the best operating companies it covers in the Internet sector.

''Google continues to gain market share in search queries while continuing to face a bevy of competitors,'' Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck wrote in a note to clients.

''Further, Google's efforts in online video, radio, and print, have added a layer of value that is absent from its competitors' portfolio of offerings and which has the potential to yield significant financial rewards,'' Peck said.

Google was up 0.8 percent to 8.55 in morning trading on the Nasdaq. The shares traded as high as 1.45 during the session.

REUTERS MP RK2006

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