Google Shares Rise on First Day of Trading

NEW YORK Google’s stock closed its first day of trading on the Nasdaq today at $100.34 per share, 18 percent above the initial public offering price of $85.

The stock reached a high of $104.06 during the day, as more than 22 million shares changed hands.

In the end, the highly anticipated IPO raised $1.67 billion, down from the $2.7-3.3 billion Google and its shareholders were initially hoping to fetch from selling 24.6 million shares at $108-135 per share.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company yesterday slashed its estimated IPO price range of $108-135 per share to $85-95 per share, before settling at $85. As a result, the company’s stockholders reduced the shares they planned to sell by nearly a half to 5.5 million.

As originally planned, Google sold 14.1 million shares, which combined with the stockholders’ offering yielded a total offering of 19.6 million shares.

The IPO comes amid an inquiry by the SEC into Google’s issuance of 23.2 million shares of common stock and 5.6 million shares of unexercised options over a three-year period. The action may have violated federal or state securities laws, and is also being looked at by certain state regulators.

The SEC has also requested additional information concerning the search company’s involvement in a Playboy story. Google’s participation in the article, which hit newsstands last week, could have violated the Securities Act of 1933, namely quiet-period rules that restrict what a company can say leading up to an IPO. Google said that it does not believe the interview violated the act.

At 6:09 p.m. in after-hours trading, Google’s shares [GOOG] were down 49 cents at $99.85.