Scoot over Microsoft: Apple again the most valuable US company

Stock numbers for Apple are displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square on January 29, 2019 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 07 February 2019

Scoot over Microsoft: Apple again the most valuable US company

  • Apple’s market capitalization was overtaken in December by Amazon and Microsoft
  • While Apple has gained in recent sessions, Microsoft and Amazon’s shares fell after their quarterly reports

SAN FRANCISCO, US: Apple won back its crown as the most valuable publicly listed US company on Wednesday, ending the session with a market capitalization above recent leaders Microsoft and Amazon.com.
Apple edged up 0.03 percent, putting its market value at $821.5 billion. Microsoft’s market capitalization ended at $813.4 billion after its stock dipped 1.11 percent, while Amazon’s stock market value finished the day at $805.7 billion, in third place, after its shares slid 1.12 percent.
Apple’s stock has risen about 13 percent since its quarterly earnings report on Jan. 29, with investors betting it was oversold following months of concern about a slowdown in iPhone demand and the company’s rare revenue warning on Jan. 2 related to soft demand in China.
But slowing iPhone sales have led to lower expectations for Apple’s stock. The average analyst price target for Apple has fallen from $240 three months ago to $175, less than a dollar more than its current stock price of $174.24.
After touching a record $1.1 trillion last October, Apple’s market capitalization fell gradually, and it was overtaken in December by Amazon and Microsoft, which have taken turns in the top position since then.
Apple’s stock market value hit a low of $675 billion on Jan. 3 after its revenue warning, but then steadily recovered, helped in part by a quarterly report that was better than feared by investors.
While Apple has gained in recent sessions, Microsoft and Amazon’s shares fell after their quarterly reports. Amazon has declined almost 5 percent since Thursday, when it forecast first-quarter sales below Wall Street estimates and said it would step up investments in 2019.
“That has raised some eyebrows, it’s a perception that Amazon may be settling into a more mature phase in terms of growth,” said Dan Morgan, a senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust in Atlanta.
Morgan owns shares in Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, but he said that if forced to choose, he would favor Amazon because of its lead in cloud-computing market share.
Microsoft’s stock is about flat from last Wednesday, when the software maker met targets for its quarterly results and forecast.

 


Aramco chief sees demand for oil staying above 100m barrels

Updated 23 January 2020

Aramco chief sees demand for oil staying above 100m barrels

  • A panel on the global energy outlook at the WEF in Davos heard that renewable energy alone would not be able to meet rising demand for power as more people moved into the middle class
  • The panel also heard that coal, not oil, remained the biggest source of carbon emissions

DAVOS: Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said he expected global oil demand to stay above the 100 million barrels threshold as the rise of the global middle class spurred demand for energy.
A panel on the global energy outlook at the World Economic Forum in Davos heard that renewable energy alone would not be able to meet rising demand for power as more people moved into the middle class.
“There will be additional demand and the only way to meet it is if you continue to provide affordable, reliable and viable energy to the rest of the world,” said the Aramco CEO.
“There is good penetration from renewables and electric cars are picking up however you need to consider what is happening in the world. There are still an additional 2 billion people coming. There are currently 3 billion people using biomass, animal dung, kerosene for cooking and there are 1 billion people today without electricity and almost 50 percent of people have never flown in an aeroplane.”
The panel heard that coal, not oil, remained the biggest source of carbon emissions but that the location of many coal-fired power plants in developing Asian economies meant that reducing its impact was a major challenge.
“The number one source of emissions by far is the coal fire power plants – they alone are responsible for one third of emissions,” said International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol. “But they are in many cases the number one source of electricity generation in low income countries - so this is not a black and white issue.”