May 26, 2010 -- Apple Inc., the computer maker turned mobile gadgeteer, overtook Microsoft Corp. to become the most valuable technology company on optimism it can keep adding customers for its iPhone, Macintosh computer and iPad, reports BusinessWeek.
By 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading, Apple’s market value was at $222.1 billion, higher than Microsoft’s $219.2 billion. That made Apple the most valuable technology firm in the world. It’s also the second-largest U.S. stock by market value, behind oil company Exxon Mobil Corp., valued at $278.6 billion on the New York Stock Exchange.
In intraday trading, Apple climbed as high as $252.13 before slipping $1.11 to $244.11. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs last month said second-quarter profit almost doubled and sales soared 49 percent on demand for the iPhone. The results don’t yet include the iPad, which went on sale after the close of the period for the Cupertino, California-based company.
“Apple really checks all the boxes when you look at the tech sector,” said Ryan Jacob, a fund manager at Jacob Internet Fund in Los Angeles, which has Apple as its top holding. “Do they have the opportunity to gain share in their markets? What are the prospects for margins? It’s hard to find a company that you can have more confidence in than Apple.”
The value shift underscores the changing fortunes of two technology industry pioneers. Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, has had mixed success expanding beyond its mainstay Windows operating system business into new markets, including mobile phones, Web search and gaming consoles.