Exxon passes Apple as most valuable company


Share
Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2013, 6:08 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon has once again surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable company after the iPhone and iPad maker saw its stock price falter.

Apple Inc.'s stock has been on the decline since the company's quarterly earnings report Wednesday suggested that its fast growth phase, rare for a company of its size, may be coming to an end.

Apple's stock fell 2.4 percent to close Friday at $439.88 for a market capitalization of $413 billion. That followed a 12 percent drop on Thursday, the biggest one-day percentage drop for the company since 2008.

Exxon Mobil Corp. gained 38 cents Friday to $91.73 for a market capitalization of $418 billion.

Apple first surpassed Exxon in the summer of 2011, displacing the oil company from a perch it had held since 2005. The two companies traded places through that fall, until Apple surpassed Exxon for good in early 2012 — at least until Friday.

China's largest oil company, PetroChina, could lay claim to having hit a market capitalization even higher than either Exxon's or Apple's, but only based on prices on the Shanghai stock exchange, which is isolated from the rest of the financial world because of Chinese laws on foreign investment. PetroChina's shares also trade in Hong Kong and on the New York Stock Exchange. Based on prices there, its market capitalization never went as high as $500 billion.

Apple and Exxon are among only a half dozen U.S. companies to have ever reached $500 billion in market value. Apple and Microsoft Corp. are the only ones to have ever hit $600 billion.

Apple's stock price peaked in September at $705.07 on the day the iPhone 5 was released. Exxon, in the meantime, has been trading steady. Its business — oil — seems less prone to stock market ups and downs than the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech darling.

Exxon, which is based in Irving, Texas, set a record in 2008 for the highest quarterly earnings by any company. In the first nine months of 2012, Exxon earned nearly $35 billion, or 10 percent more than the same period in 2011, on revenue of $367 billion. Results for the fourth quarter are due Feb. 1.

Exxon, the biggest investor-owned energy company in the world, predicted in December that oil will continue to be the most important source of energy. That's because cars, trucks, airplanes, trains and ships will still depend heavily on oil-derived fuels such as gasoline and diesel.

This year, investors seem unforgiving with Apple, looking for perfection and punishing the stock for anything less. The company's stock price slipped below $500 for the first time last week, as investors saw signs that the iPhone 5 was falling behind competition from phones running Google's Android software, especially those from Samsung Electronics Co.

The latest quarterly report added to the concerns. Apple warned that its revenue growth, which had been running at a speed more reminiscent of promising startups than multi-national corporations, is slowing down considerably.

A big reason: It has been nearly three years since a new product has come from a company still seen as the embodiment of innovation. That last product, the iPad, came in 2010, when its CEO Steve Jobs was still alive. Some analysts question whether Apple can keep growing by just releasing new versions of its old products. The long-rumored Apple TV, is still just that, a rumor.

















 



Local events heading








  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.








(More History)