Microsoft Corp overtakes Apple Inc in terms of market value for the first time in eight years on Friday

December 3, 2018 7:34 am

Microsoft Corp once again became the most valuable US company, while overtaking Apple Inc for the first time in eight years on Friday, as the iPhone maker was pressured by investor concerns over demand for it devices while the maker of Windows and Xbox drew benefits from cloud computing growth.

Microsoft shares closed higher for the fifth time in the past nine trading sessions on NASDAQ on Friday. The stock went up 0.64% ($0.70) to $110.89, after touching an intraday high at $110.90 and an intraday low at $109.37. As a result, Microsoft’s market value now stands at $851.2 billion.

Meanwhile, Apple shares closed lower for a second consecutive trading session on NASDAQ on Friday. The stock went down 0.54% ($0.97) to $178.58, after touching an intraday low at $177.04, or a price level not seen since November 28th ($174.93). Apple’s market capitalization now stands at $847.4 billion.

Shares of Microsoft Corporation have surged 29.64%, while shares of Apple Inc have risen 5.53% so far in 2018, compared with a 3.24% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

The market capitalizations of both entities were based on calculations that take into account outstanding shares reported in the latest 10-Q filings by Microsoft and Apple.

Apple overtook Microsoft in terms of market value in 2010, when Microsoft had to cope with sluggish demand for personal computers, while devices such as Apple’s iPhone enjoyed booming demand.

Apple shares have retreated 19.6% since November 1st, when the tech giant spooked market players that its holiday-quarter sales would probably fall short of Wall Street estimates.

According to data by Refinitiv, the median forecast by analysts points to a revenue growth of 12.7% for Microsoft during its fiscal year 2019, which ends in June. As far as Apple’s revenue is concerned, analysts on average expect a 5% growth during the company’s fiscal year 2019 ending in September.

According to CNN Money, the 34 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Microsoft’s stock price, have a median target of $125.70, with a high estimate of $160.00 and a low estimate of $75.00. The median estimate represents a 13.36% upside compared to the closing price of $110.89 on November 30th.

As many as 29 out of 35 surveyed investment analysts had rated Microsoft’s stock as “Buy”, while 2 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 1 analyst had recommended selling the stock.

According to the same media, the 32 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Apple Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $232.90, with a high estimate of $310.00 and a low estimate of $165.00. The median estimate represents a 30.42% upside compared to the closing price of $178.58 on November 30th.

20 out of 40 surveyed investment analysts had rated Apple Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 17 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 1 analyst had recommended selling the stock.

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