Apple races past Microsoft to be the most valuable technology company

May 27, 2010, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Apple Inc went past Microsoft Corp on Wednesday on the Nasdaq stock exchange to make Apple the most valuable technology firm. Microsoft was removed from its top spot among tech firms due to its declining stock value and the increase in Apple’s shares.

Apple’s shares rose to a high of 2.8 percent at one point, with the company’s worth, called market capitalization, rising to more than $229 billion and overtaking Microsoft. The second half of the day witnessed a sell-off, taking down the stock prices of both companies. Yet Apple managed to hold on to a per-share price of $244.11 despite a fall of 0.4 percent while Microsoft ended up with a per-share price of $25.01, the lowest for the company in seven months, due to a reduction of 4 percent in its share prices. The market cap for both companies at the end of trading was $222 billion for Apple and $219 billion for Microsoft.

Apple had previously overtaken Microsoft in market value on December 19, 1989. The company however, found it difficult to sell its products. It received an investment worth $150 million in 1997 from Microsoft Corp and later, the company came up with the revolutionary iPod, which became very popular and was only compatible with Apple computers, leading customers to use Apple’s other products as well. Apple has now increased its market value with brisk sales of the iPad, iPod and iPhone products. The company is also set to release the iPhone 4G next month along with the international release of the iPad this week.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has struggled to maintain its growth rate with its stocks being 20 percent lesser than 10 years ago, when the company was performing well. Its sales figures however, are still higher than Apple with the company reporting a revenue of 14.5 billion in the latest quarter compared to Apple’s revenue of 13.5 billion.

The recent increased market cap of Apple is only lesser than Exxon Mobil’s worth of $280 million, making Apple the second largest company in the US.

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