Microsoft Surpasses Apple, Becoming World’s Most Valuable Company
In a notable turn of events, Microsoft has recently emerged as the leading publicly traded company, a status traditionally dominated by Apple. While this shift in fortunes initially transpired during intraday trading on Thursday, it became more firmly established by the conclusion of Friday’s U.S. trading session.
Microsoft’s robust performance in the stock market was evident as its shares experienced a noteworthy increase of over 3% throughout the week. This surge propelled the company’s market capitalization to an impressive $2.89 trillion. In contrast, Apple encountered a decline of more than 3% in its stock price, resulting in an overall reduction of its valuation to $2.87 trillion.
The dynamics influencing Apple’s position were further exacerbated on Wednesday when Redburn Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell downgraded the tech giant from a “buy” to a “neutral” rating. Cordwell’s decision was shaped by concerns about the limited growth potential for Apple’s iPhone in the upcoming years, coupled with apprehensions regarding the anticipated performance in the forthcoming March quarter, expected to be lackluster.
Concurrently, Apple disclosed the impending retirement of former Vice President Al Gore from the company’s board next month. Gore had served as a director at Apple since 2003.
In contrast, Microsoft received a vote of confidence on Thursday as it showcased its artificial intelligence capabilities at an event in San Francisco targeted at developers. Analysts at Piper Sandler expressed optimism about the strong momentum surrounding Microsoft’s mature AI products. They particularly highlighted the positive trajectory in GitHub website traffic, which has consistently risen year over year for the past three months. Consequently, analysts have assigned Microsoft shares an equivalent of a “buy” rating, indicating their favorable outlook on the company’s performance.
For over a year, Apple has maintained its status as the most valuable publicly traded company, with only intermittent instances when other entities such as Saudi Aramco and Microsoft briefly surpassed it in terms of market capitalization. However, the recent developments underscore Microsoft’s ascent to the forefront in this regard.