ibusinesslines.com December 17, 2018

Microsoft tops Apple as world's most valuable company

29 November 2018, 08:00 | Kelvin Horton

For the first time in 8 years, Apple is worth less than Microsoft

Apple's stock sours Microsoft's soars. Say what

As a matter of fact, Microsoft briefly took the title on both Monday and Tuesday this week, before giving way to Apple by the closing bell.

Over the same period, its long-standing rival Microsoft has held up much better, despite a broad selloff of tech counters on Wall Street, with the result that Microsoft now appears poised to dislodge Apple as the world's most valuable firm.

It has nothing to do with posting selfies or finding a soul mate.

Buoyed by a broad rebound in USA stocks on Monday, Microsoft jumped 3.11 per cent to US$106.28, pushing its market capitalisation up to a record US$816 billion at mid-day. It was also the first time since 2013 that any company topped it, ever since Apple eclipsed Exxon Mobil in size, according to an analysis of Bloomberg data.

Microsoft doesn't have to worry about the "flat-lining" market for smartphones plaguing Apple, says Dan Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust.

A steep decline in the iPhone maker's share price has left its market capitalization roughly the same as fellow technology bellwether Microsoft for the first time in more than eight years.

Market watchers believe it's just a matter of time before Microsoft wins the top honors, though one can not say how long it will be able to hold onto the title given the rapidly changing fortunes in the tech arena. Shares have fallen more than 25 per cent from record levels. But the fact that it hasn't done poorly is a reflection of its steady focus on business customers in recent years.

The rise of cloud computing changed Microsoft's fortunes about five years ago. It didn't help that Microsoft's effort to make PCs more like phones, Windows 8, was widely panned. This was particularly galling for the Redmond, Washington-based company because it once kept Apple afloat with a cash infusion in the 1990s. He succeeded Microsoft's longtime CEO, Steve Ballmer, who initially scoffed at the notion that people would be willing to pay $500 or more for Apple's iPhones.

Microsoft posted a revenue of 29.1 billion dollars generated from their sales of Azure Cloud, gaming and Surface laptop portfolio.

Being less reliant on consumer demand helped shield Microsoft from holiday season turbulence and U.S.

Apple's decision to stop reporting iPhone unit sales was a notably unpopular move among investors and prompted fear of a sales slowdown.

With that said, even though Microsoft is once again in second place, there's a good chance the tech giant will remain neck-and-neck with Apple for the foreseeable future. Unlike Netflix, it's not on a hunt for a diminishing number of worldwide subscribers.

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