Microsoft’s Stock Market Value Catches up With Apple

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

Since stock prices continue to fluctuate, Microsoft and Apple are still vying for the title of being the most valuable US company. That exceeded by more than $1 billion the value of Apple, which has tumbled this month on concern about iPhone unit sales.

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. 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. Shares of Apple rose 0.9 per cent, erasing an earlier decline, while Microsoft climbed 3.2 per cent.

After Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, taking the reins from Steve Ballmer, Microsoft has been devoting more efforts to enterprise business and cloud services, while scaling back or pulling out from some hardware initiatives.

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After peaking in market cap at the highs of the dot.com bubble in 2000, MSFT began a slow drift lower in size before finally putting in a bottom at the lows of the financial crisis. As of Tuesday morning, Apple's market cap stands at $821 billion, while Microsoft is worth $816 billion. Meanwhile, Apple's valuation has fallen over 20 percent since its own earning results, which didn't look all that hot. But the fact that it hasn't done poorly is a reflection of its steady focus on business customers in recent years.

Starting more than a decade ago, Microsoft fell behind Apple as computing shifted from desktop machines to mobile devices like iPhones, making Microsoft's PC dominance less relevant. This was particularly galling for the Redmond, Washington-based company because it once kept Apple afloat with a cash infusion in the 1990s. Yet RBC affirmed its outperform rating on Apple, saying it remains a "core large-cap tech holding" in an "increasingly "risk-off" environment", given the company's strong balance sheet and "aggressive" buyback program.

Microsoft is now second behind Amazon Web Services in the cloud.

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