The rise of Microsoft Corp.’s shares was nearly able to dethrone Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the world’s most valuable publicly-traded company on Wednesday. However, will Microsoft be able to maintain the excitement garnered in the stock market is a question that most of us are seeking the answer to? The question becomes too obvious considering the trend is observed just a day ahead of Apple’s scheduled release of its Q4 FY’21 results.
It’s important to note that Apple’s fiscal year starts from October every year, while Microsoft’s from July.
The Redmond-based software giant’s growth was boosted by the strong growth of its Azure cloud computing business which led its shares to rise 4.2 percent to close at an all-time high of $323.17. Its record high price of stock translated into $2.426 trillion market cap of Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), which is marginally lesser than Apple’s $2.461 trillion market cap.
Apple’s shares dropped 0.3 percent prior to its report that is due to be released after the bell on Thursday, as investors focus on the supply chain crisis that has hampered the company’s ability to keep up with the demand for its iPhones 13 series.
On the other hand, Microsoft’s stock has risen by 45% in the past year, due to pandemic-induced demand for cloud-based services which drove the growth of the company’s overall sales. Just to put in context, Apple’s stock value appreciated 12% in 2021.
It was 2010 when Apple’s market value surpassed Microsoft for the very first time. Apple’s growth was led by the iPhone – launched in 2007 – that transformed the company into the world’s most prestigious consumer tech company.
Both the companies have been alternating being Wall Street’s most valuable company in recent times and Apple being the holder of the crown from the middle of 2020.
In its latest report on Tuesday evening, Microsoft predicted a great final quarter of the year – or second fiscal quarter of FY 2022 – due to its growing cloud-based business, but cautioned that supply chain issues will be a constant problem for important units, like the ones that make its Surface laptops as well as its Xbox gaming consoles.
Analysts are expecting Apple to report 31% YoY higher revenue to $84.8 billion for the third quarter of 2021 – or the Q4 of FY’21. We need to wait for one more day to know exactly how much damages the shortage of chips has done for Apple in the last quarter. And, if Apple’s Q3 2021 results fail to excite the Wall Street investors, Microsoft would easily dethrone Apple and become the world’s most valuable publicly-traded company.