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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 February 2019

Apple king of the heap again but crown a little dented

iPhone maker reclaimed the mantle of world’s largest stock by market capitalisation on Tuesday but at a reduced level than previously

Tech giant once again most valuable company on earth. Reuters
Tech giant once again most valuable company on earth. Reuters

Apple is once again the world’s most valuable company - but at a much lower level than its former peak.

The iPhone maker reclaimed the mantle of world’s largest stock by market capitalisation on Tuesday, edging out Amazon.com and Microsoft for the first time in two months. The list of the biggest names on Wall Street has been repeatedly shuffled this year, with each of the megacap technology names holding the top spot at some point.

The California-based company had a market capitalisation of $821 billion on Tuesday after rising for five straight days, inching past Microsoft at $819bn and Amazon at $816bn. At current levels, it would be the first time Apple has had this distinction on a closing basis since December 3, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Apple rose 1.7 per cent on Tuesday, while Amazon was up 1.7 per cent and Microsoft rose 0.9 per cent.

Disappointing iPhone sales have weighed on Apple over the past three months, causing the company’s market value to plummet more than technology peers, allowing Amazon and Microsoft to jockey for the top spot. Despite a recent rally fuelled by optimism following Apple’s fiscal first-quarter earnings report, the stock is down 26 per cent from a record high in October, back when it had a market cap above $1.1 trillion. That translates into more than $300bn in lost market value.

Last month The National reported markets were surprised when at the beginning of this year Apple lowered its revenue outlook for the holiday quarter, the first such forecast in the past two decades. The company on January 29 released its earnings for the first quarter that ended December 29, raising some questions about its future plans.

Apple reported revenue of $84.3bn, a 5 per cent year-on-year decline. Earlier last month, Apple had adjusted its revenue estimates to $84bn for the quarter, from an earlier bracket of $89bn to $93bn, citing economic slowdown in China, one of its biggest markets, and weaker demand for its newer products (iPhone).

And competition is hottin g up at the top of the tree; not too far behind the top three is Alphabet, the parent company of Google, which has a market cap of $785.7bn. The company dipped 0.5 per cent on Tuesday in the wake of its quarterly results.

Updated: February 5, 2019 07:37 PM

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