If you've had CNBC on today, you have undoubtedly heard that today is the 5-year anniversary of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) IPO. Someone on the channel even called it the most important IPO of all time. While buyers of GOOG's IPO have certainly made money (+423%), to call it the most important IPO of all time is a bit of hyperbole. Historically, there have been plenty of IPOs that have made investors more money over similar or shorter periods of time. BIDU and FSLR are just two examples of IPOs that have returned more than 800% in a shorter period of time. Additionally, of the current Russell 3000 stocks that were around at the time of GOOG's IPO, 38 have returned more to shareholders over the same time period.
The 38 stocks that are up more than Google over the last five years aren't all penny stocks either. Many of the names highlighted below have market caps of more than $10 billion. The only stock on the list that is larger than GOOG, however, is Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL), which has gained more than twice GOOG's 423%. Hmm. Maybe it was a case of stock envy that recently caused GOOG CEO Eric Schmidt to resign from Apple's board.
click to enlarge