The premarket trading Friday is putting Microsoft Corp. on pace to become the world’s largest listed company by market capitalisation, after a drop in Apple’s shares.
Apple fell 3.6% to $147.10 in premarket trading after reporting fourth-quarter revenue that came in below the average analyst estimate.
The iPhone maker’s market value would fall to $2.41 trillion should shares continue to trade at this level during regular hours.
Microsoft closed at a market value of $2.44 trillion on Thursday, blowing past Apple after reporting estimate-topping results for an 11th straight quarter earlier this week.
According to the head trader at US Global Investors, Michael Matousek, “If you’re looking for safety in tech, Microsoft probably seems like a safer bet to me than Apple. “If there was a downturn in the economy, I would expect Microsoft to stand up better, because its products are diversified across more businesses”.
The last time Microsoft dethroned Apple was in the first half of 2020 as investors flocked into growth stocks amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Microsoft was little changed in premarket trading as of 7:00 a.m. in New York.
In June, Microsoft took its place in the history books as just the second US public company to reach a $2 trillion market value, buoyed by bets its dominance in cloud computing and enterprise software will expand further in a post-coronavirus world.
Its shares have outperformed Apple and Amazon.com Inc. this year on expectations of long-term growth for both earnings and revenue, and expansion in areas like machine learning and cloud computing. Microsoft is up more than 40%, while Apple is 15% higher and Amazon is up about 6%.
Its shares aren’t cheap, trading at a 20 percent premium to the technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index. But lofty valuations haven’t stopped investors from adding to their positions in tech stocks this year. The Nasdaq 100 Index is on pace with the S&P 500 Index with a more than 22% rally each and the Nasdaq Composite is up about 20 percent.
Matousek said, “Size begets size and strength begets strength. This is the sort of thing that is nice to see; Microsoft was a rock star in the 90’s — one of the four horsemen – and it has clearly gotten its mojo back”.