AAPL to catch MSFT?
Apple reported a blowout quarter Tuesday, selling 8.8 million iPhones, a new record high. That’s three years after the device was released.
At posting time, Yahoo Finance shows the shares indicating up $14 (nearly 6%) to $261. The after-hours market is thin, so these gains may not hold on the open tomorrow. If they do, it would boost AAPL’s market cap $13 billion to $237 billion.
Don’t look now, but AAPL is the third largest public company in the U.S. If the gains stick, its market cap would be 13% behind Microsoft’s.
Even if they don’t, it’s amazing to think about how far the company has come since the dark days when John Sculley then Michael Spindler then Gil Amelio ran the firm.
In 1997, not long after Jobs took over from Amelio, AAPL shares were selling for just $4 (split-adjusted) and Michael Dell told a symposium what he would do to solve the company’s problems: “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”
Today Dell’s market cap is $33 billion, not even a sixth of AAPL’s.
Meanwhile, who needs the desktop? MSFT’s share of that market still dwarfs AAPL’s. Nevertheless, Jobs is poised to pass them not only by market cap, but also by revenue. Analysts estimate that MSFT’s fiscal year revenue (ending June) will be $61 billion, they put AAPL’s FY revenue (ending Sept) at $55 billion.
With the iPhone as strong as ever and the iPad having sold 500k units already, it’s probably a good bet Jobs will indeed surmount his rival.