- Apple has surpassed Microsoft to reclaim its title as the world’s most-valuable public company with a market cap of $916 billion.
- Its shares have risen in anticipation of the company releasing a Netflix-style video-streaming service.
- Watch Apple and Microsoft trade live.
Apple has breezed past Microsoft to reclaim its title as the world’s most-valuable public company. Shares of the consumer-electronics titan rallied close to 4% Thursday, giving Apple a market cap of about $916 billion – surpassing its computing archrival’s $908 billion valuation.
The pair’s latest switch in position – Apple reached a $1 trillion market cap in August 2018 but had since retreated – comes amid anticipation that Apple will on Monday reveal a video-streaming service to rival Netflix. Its recent unveiling of new iPads, iMacs, and AirPods has also fueled the hype.
Needham upgraded Apple stock from a “buy” to a “strong buy” on Thursday, citing the value of Apple’s ecosystem of hardware, software, and services; the results of a survey of 300 smartphone users; the growth potential of Apple’s anticipated video-streaming and news-and-magazine services; and the company’s strong network effects. The investment bank also raised its price target from $180 to $225 – Apple’s stock currently trades at about $194.
Apple certainly faces its fair share of challenges: net revenue fell 5% to $84.3 billion last quarter, a far cry from the $89-to-$90 billion it projected before cutting its guidance. The upshot was a fall in operating income of 11%. Apple’s weak figures reflected a 15% slump in iPhone sales, as total revenues in Greater China plunged 27% and turnover in Japan and Europe also fell.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s sales leapt 12% and operating income jumped 18% in its latest quarter. The gains stemmed from strong sales of its Azure cloud-computing platform, Surface line of laptops and tablets, Xbox software and services, and LinkedIn site.
Apple has surpassed Microsoft for now, but given the pair’s recent performances, it will be watching its back.