Apple pips Microsoft to become most valuable company in the US
But slowing iPhone sales have led to lower expectations for Apple`s stock
Apple won back its crown as the most valuable publicly listed U.S. company on Wednesday, ending the session with a market capitalisation above recent leaders Microsoft and Amazon.com.
Apple edged up 0.03 percent, putting its market value at $821.5 billion. Microsoft`s market capitalisation ended at $813.4 billion after its stock dipped 1.11 percent, while Amazon`s stock market value finished the day at $805.7 billion, in third place, after its shares slid 1.12 percent.
Apple`s stock has risen about 13 percent since its quarterly earnings report on Jan. 29, with investors betting it was oversold following months of concern about a slowdown in iPhone demand and the company`s rare revenue warning on Jan. 2 related to soft demand in China.
But slowing iPhone sales have led to lower expectations for Apple`s stock. The average analyst price target for Apple has fallen from $240 three months ago to $175, less than a dollar more than its current stock price of $174.24.
For graphic on Apple`s rising valuation, click https://tmsnrt.rs/2UMQGR0
After touching a record $1.1 trillion last October, Apple`s market capitalisation fell gradually, and it was overtaken in December by Amazon and Microsoft, which have taken turns in the top position since then.
Apple`s stock market value hit a low of $675 billion on Jan. 3 after its revenue warning, but then steadily recovered, helped in part by a quarterly report that was better than feared by investors.
While Apple has gained in recent sessions, Microsoft and Amazon`s shares fell after their quarterly reports.
Amazon has declined almost 5 percent since Thursday, when it forecast first-quarter sales below Wall Street estimates and said it would step up investments in 2019.
"That has raised some eyebrows, it`s a perception that Amazon may be settling into a more mature phase in terms of growth," said Dan Morgan, a senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust in Atlanta.
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Morgan owns shares in Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, but he said that if forced to choose, he would favour Amazon because of its lead in cloud-computing market share.
Microsoft`s stock is about flat from last Wednesday, when the software maker met targets for its quarterly results and forecast.
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