Sun, Aug 14, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Exxon stays ahead of Apple as the top company in the US

BACK ON TOP:Although Exxon has regained its No. 1 title, many analysts understand why investors might view Apple as the more valuable company

AP, NEW YORK

Exxon Mobil Corp ended the week holding the title of the most valuable company in the US after earlier being passed by Apple Inc.

Exxon shares rose US$0.42 on Friday to US$72, although still down for the week. The oil company now has a market capitalization of US$350.1 billion, compared with Apple’s US$349.5 billion. Shares of Apple, which sells the iPhone and iPad, rose US$3.29 to US$376.99.

Apple first surpassed Exxon on Tuesday afternoon, but settled at No. 2 by the time the stock market closed.

On Wednesday, it kept the top spot after the close, with a market cap of US$337 billion versus Exxon’s US$331 billion.

Exxon, which had held the top spot since 2005, regained it on Thursday, helped by a 3.4 percent increase in the price of oil.

Oil ended US$0.34 lower on Friday at US$85.38. It is down 10.5 percent for the quarter.

Many analysts can understand why investors may view Apple as the more valuable company.

Exxon’s growth is tied to the price of oil and to the discovery of new oil sources. Apple, meanwhile, is limited only by innovation and ongoing demand for its products. That demand, for now, seems insatiable. Apple also has room to grow, since it commands just a small fraction of the smartphone and personal computer markets.

Exxon shares are still down 11.5 percent since June 30, a time when oil prices have also dropped 10 percent. Apple shares have gained 12.3 percent in the same time frame.

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