Apple Inc briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp on Tuesday as the US’ most valuable company.
The iPhone and iPad maker had the lead for much of the afternoon before its stock closed just behind Exxon’s. The two companies are so close that Apple is likely to keep the top spot soon.
Apple Inc’s stock gained 5.9 percent to US$374.01 on Tuesday, bringing its market capitalization to about US$347 billion.
Exxon Mobil Corp’s stock, meanwhile, closed up 2.1 percent at US$71.64. That gives the oil company a market cap of US$348 billion. Its stock was down earlier in the day, allowing Apple to take the lead.
Other big-name corporations, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and General Electric Co (GE), don’t even come close. Apple overtook Microsoft Corp, the previous No. 2, just last year.
Does this mean people need iPads more than oil?
“Exxon obviously sells a product that people need. Apple sells a product that people want,” said Brian Marshall, an analyst with Gleacher & Co who follows Apple.
Exxon, which set a record in 2008 for the highest quarterly earnings by any company, has limited growth prospects, which are driven by oil prices and discovering new oil. It’s growing, but not as quickly as Apple, which is charging ahead at the pace of a startup, Marshall says, even though the company is 35 years old.
International companies that vie for the most valuable spot in the world include PetroChina Co (中國石油天然氣), the publicly traded unit of China’s biggest oil and gas company, and Petrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled energy company.
In the US, Exxon and GE had been trading off the No. 1 and No. 2 spots until Microsoft surpassed them both in early 1999, at the height of the dot-com boom. By 2000, though, GE was No. 1 once again. According to data from FactSet, the three were close over the next five years, though Apple was ascending quickly.
Exxon Mobil, which is based in Irving, Texas, took the top spot in 2005 and, for now, remained there on Tuesday.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca