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Battle For World’s Most Valuable Company Heats Up

The battle for the world’s most valuable company has continued to intensify, as investors show support for Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, after the company briefly dethroned Apple early this week.

Considered a ‘miracle’ amongst some analysts, Microsoft has continued to gain traction, while Apple has slashed production targets and lowered its holiday outlook.

As the world’s FAANG stocks continue to fluctuate, investors have expressed shock that Apple’s top spot was briefly overtaken by Microsoft, not e-commerce giant Amazon.

Despite its brevity, it’s the first time Microsoft has ranked the world’s most valuable company in eight years, with its market cap jumping to US$812.93 billion versus Apple’s US$812.60 billion.

Apple has since regained leadership, however, some analysts remain cautious, citing tough market conditions and declining iPhone sales.

For some, it’s an indication Apple’s season of runaway success may be ending, with its market cap diving from over US$1 trillion in August to ~US$800 billion.

Commentators attribute external conditions – such as trade tensions between the US and China and strong market competition – plus Apple’s financial performance for the drop.

As previously reported, Apple has lowered its holiday outlook, and announced it will no longer report on unit sales of its main hardware division.

Microsoft has continued to beef up its cloud services (e.g. Office 365 and Azure), coupled with revenues from its gaming division. By contrast, the global PC market has continued to decline.

Whilst Apple has reported a drop in flagship phone volumes, profits have remained in check following a higher ASP.

Recognising a change in strategy for both companies, some analysts question what point the tide may shift.

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