POLAND - 2023/12/06: In this photo illustration a Microsoft logo is displayed on a smartphone with stock market percentages in the background. (Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Microsoft Overtakes Apple to Become The World’s Most Valuable Company

Microsoft has overtaken Apple as the world’s most valuable company. On Thursday, Microsoft’s market valuation reached $2.888 trillion, surpassing Apple’s market capitalization of $2.887 trillion.

This shift in position was driven by Microsoft’s 57% stock rise, attributed to its advancements in generative artificial intelligence, including a partnership with ChatGPT-maker OpenAI. In contrast, Apple’s stock has slid 3.3% in January. Wall Street is currently more positive on Microsoft, with nearly 90% of brokerages recommending buying the stock, while Apple has two “sell” ratings and only two-thirds of analysts rating it a “buy.”

The decline in Apple’s stock was influenced by rating downgrades and worries about iPhone sales, particularly in the significant Chinese market. Microsoft’s aggressive adoption of genAI-powered tools, facilitated by its collaboration with OpenAI, contributed to its 57% rise in 2023, outpacing Apple’s 48% gain.

This marks the first time since 2021 that Apple’s valuation has fallen below Microsoft’s, reflecting Wall Street’s current positive outlook on Microsoft.

Both companies are trading at relatively high forward price-to-earnings ratios. Microsoft’s forward PE is around 31, above its 10-year average of 24, while Apple is trading at a forward PE of 28, well above its average of 19 over the past 10 years.

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