Microsoft at $1trn pulls ahead of Apple

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Microsoft’s market value vaulted above the $1tn (€893bn) mark for the first time in regular trade yesterday, pulling ahead of Apple and making it the most valuable US publicly traded company after quarterly earnings and revenue beat Wall St expectations.

The stock, which pared gains as the morning wore on, was up almost 4%, giving it a valuation of $996.16bn.

The software company was helped by predictions from its executives for continued growth for its cloud computing business in its quarterly conference call after the market close on Wednesday. The stock leapt above $1tn in after-hours trading following the report.

Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon have taken turns in recent months to rank as the world’s most valuable US-listed company.

Apple traded at $205.91, giving it a market cap of $970.92bn. Amazon trailed with a $939.25bn value.

Microsoft beat Wall St estimates for quarterly profit and revenue, powered by an unexpected boost in Windows revenue and brisk growth in its cloud business which has reached tens of billions of dollars in sales. Microsoft’s stock has gained about 43% from a year ago.

Under chief executive Satya Nadella, the company has spent the past five years shifting from reliance on its once-dominant Windows operating system to selling cloud-based services. Azure, Microsoft’s flagship cloud product, competes with market leader Amazon Web Services to provide computing power to businesses.

Chief financial officer Amy Hood said Microsoft expects to see growth in the fiscal fourth quarter in the business divisions in charge of Azure and Office 365.

- Reuters

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