Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Nearly Touching the Skylines

With a strong quarterly growth in Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing business, the company’s shares surged, leading the company to be named as the world’s most valuable company on Wednesday, leaving Apple behind.

According to Refinitiv data, Microsoft’s shares jumped 4.2% to end at a record-high $323.17 (approximately Rs 24,225), elevating the software maker’s market capitalisation to $2.426 trillion (which is Rs 1,81,86,020 crores), which is higher than Apple’s $2.461 trillion (Rs. 1,84,45,070 crore) valuation.

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Microsoft’s stock has rallied 45% this year, with the pandemic-induced demand for its cloud-based services driving majority of the sales. In camparison, shares of Apple have climbed 12% in 2021.

The change follows Apple’s Thursday earnings, where the company posted strong results but revealed that it lost $6 billion to supply chain constraints. Later, Microsoft also shared positive earnings boosted by Office, Windows, and its cloud products.

Well, this isn’t the first time Microsoft has passed Apple. The Windows-maker surpassed Apple’s market cap in 2018 for the first time since 2010 and once again in July 2020. In fact, even Alphabet once took the crown away from Apple, surpassing Apple’s market cap in 2016.

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Apple’s stock market value overtook Microsoft’s in 2010 as the iPhone made it the world’s premier consumer technology company. The two companies have taken turns as Wall Street’s most valuable company in recent years, with Apple holding the title since mid-2020.

In its report, Microsoft forecasted a strong end to the current calendar year, thanking its booming cloud business, but also warned that supply-chain woes would continue to dog key units, such as those producing its Surface laptops and Xbox gaming consoles.

However, according to Refinitiv, analysts on average expect Apple to report September-quarter revenue up 31% to $84.8 billion (around Rs 6,35,560 crore) and adjusted earnings per share of $1.24 (approx Rs 90).

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