Amazon Now 3rd Largest U.S. Company After Surpassing Microsoft
Amazon.com Inc. knocked Microsoft Corp. off the podium to take over as the third-largest U.S. company by market capitalization for the first time.
Amazon's market value — its closing share price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding — rose to $702.5 billion on Wednesday, and for the first time passed Microsoft, which is worth $699.2 billion as of the close of trading.
Amazon had briefly pushed past Microsoft in intraday trading on Feb. 7, but gave up its lead by the close of trading.
Microsoft had a $29.17 billion lead on Amazon--$731.56 billion to $702.39 billion--on Jan. 31 when Microsoft’s stock reached its record close. But Amazon’s stock has pulled back less than Microsoft’s, and bounced higher, since then.
Only Apple and Alphabet are now ahead of Amazon among the most valuable companies in the world. Microsoft is fourth, followed by China's Tencent and Facebook, as the six biggest companies by market cap all come from the technology industry.
With Amazon's 73 percent surge over the past year, CEO Jeff Bezos has become the world's richest person, surpassing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Still, Microsoft shares have achieved a 41 percent rally in the past 12 months and the software maker remains flush with cash.
Amazon has been busy since it reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings in early February, announcing that it will be working with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on improving employee health care.
The company also said it would start offering free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods groceries via its Prime Now service.
Microsoft, meanwhile, reported better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter profit and revenue after the Jan. 31 close. Earlier this week, the company said it was joining forces with Chalkup, an education start-up.
The two companies come from very different places, with Amazon dominating e-commerce and Microsoft owning the desktop. But they're now going head to head in cloud infrastructure, where Amazon's big early lead is creating plenty of excitement on Wall Street.
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