Hold the iPhone – Amazon primed to be larger than Apple
Apple, the world’s most valuable publicly listed company, is in danger of being beaten by Amazon.com to the $1 trillion mark
Wall Street’s optimism about last year’s 10th anniversary iPhone had propelled Apple’s stock 24 per cent higher over the past 12 months, giving it a market capitalisation of $893 billion.
That is $141bn more than the $752bn market value of Amazon, the world’s third most valuable publicly listed company, but Amazon has been quickly closing the gap.
Amazon’s stock has surged 83 per cent over the past year, bolstered by scorchingly fast revenue growth as more shopping moves online and businesses shift their computing operations to the cloud, where Amazon Web Services leads the market.
In January, Amazon announced that it, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co would form a company to cut health care costs for their employees, which was widely seen as a threat to the existing US healthcare system and underscored Amazon’s ability to disrupt markets.
Amazon dislodged Microsoft as the number three US company by market capitalisation in February.
At $783bn, Alphabet has the second largest market capitalisation. The Google parent company’s stock has grown about 33 per cent over the past year, faster than Apple but far slower than Amazon.
Meanwhile, optimism about Apple’s iPhone X has given way to concerns that demand for the $1,000 device may be weaker than expected.
To be sure, past stock gains are not a reliable predictor of future performance, and the surge in Amazon shares in recent years has been exceptional by most standards.
But if Amazon’s stock were to keep growing on the trajectory seen over the past year, the company’s market capitalisation would hit $1 trillion in late August. Apple would reach $1trn around a week later if its stock price continued to rise at the same pace seen over the past year.
Alphabet would not reach $1trn until 2019 if its stock price continued to rise at the same pace seen over the past year.
Most Wall Street analysts are not quite that enthusiastic about the growth of Apple and Amazon. Analysts on average expect Apple’s stock price to rise 11 per cent and reach $195 within the next 12 months, which would put its market capitalisation at $989bn, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Analysts covering Amazon on average expect its stock to rise 10 per cent within the next year to reach $1,700, which would give it a market value of $823bn.
Apple on Thursday was up 0.60 per cent at $176.05, while Amazon rose 0.31 per cent to $1,549.90.
Updated: March 9, 2018 10:23 AM