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Schmidt says Google could hit a hundred billion

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Google promised Wall St the world yesterday, as it sought to steady nervy analysts who have wiped billions of its stock value in recent weeks.

CEO Eric Schmidt lifted the roof of the Googleplex a touch when he told a meeting of analysts he reckoned the firm could become a $100bn company, the Associated Press reports.

However, Schmidt did not say whether that would be $100bn in sales or in market cap. If he meant revs, that would be quite a jump on the $1.6bn it turned in last year. Whatever kind of a target Schmidt had in mind, he said it was achievable as the company pushed into new advertising channels.

Execs also said they expected to top last year’s $838m capital investment, as it further racks up its computing muscle. It will suck in people as quickly as processors, it added, though this will mainly be outside the US. Schmidt also said Microsoft was still the company that was the biggest threat, mainly because of its history of strangling promising startups at birth or shortly after.

All this was uncommonly open for Google, which is happy to circulate details of what it serves up in its staff canteens, but won’t give Wall Street financial guidance.

However, recent concerns over the company’s growth rate, partially stoked by CGO George Reyes, led to a major slip in its share price. ®

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