• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

How Microsoft overtook Apple as world’s most valuable company

Microsoft, others to boost technology access for Nigerian businesses

Microsoft overtakes Apple as the world’s most valuable company, ending Apple’s five-year reign.

Microsoft, the software company overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable public company by market value. Apple’s share price dropped by just one percent, enabling Microsoft to narrowly pull ahead of Apple at a value of $2.9 trillion.

According to World of Statistics, a global data body reveals that the stock price change of U.S. tech companies in 2023 shows Microsoft stocks are valued at 57 percent while Apple’s stock is been valued at 48 percent.

Investors say the new wave of Generative Artificial intelligence (GenAI) fuelled a rally in the shares of Microsoft, which is the biggest baker of OpenAI, the maker of the most popular AI-powered chatbot ‘ChatGPT’.

Since the arrival of ChatGPT, Microsoft has launched several products enabling businesses and individuals to use the capabilities of generative AI, notably via its Bing search engine and Copilot virtual assistant.

However, concerns about iPhones’ weaker sales particularly in China have weighed on Apple’s stock in the first few days of 2024, prompting a series of Wall Street analyst downgrades.

“China could be a drag on performance over the coming years,” brokerage Redburn Atlantic said in a client note on Wednesday, downgrading Apple’s shares to “neutral”. At least three of the 41 analysts covering Apple have lowered their ratings since the start of 2024.

Since January 2022, Apple’s market capitalisation has on several occasions surpassed the symbolic threshold of three trillion dollars.

However, the group regularly carries out massive share buybacks and cancels shares once they are in its possession, which mechanically reduces the number of shares in circulation and lowers its market capitalisation.