Microsoft Eclipses Apple as Most Valuable Company

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Microsoft Corp.

MSFT 2.24%

is once again the most valuable company in the U.S., with the software heavyweight’s market cap hitting $2.49 trillion and surpassing

Apple Inc.

AAPL -1.82%

for the first time in more than a year. 

Microsoft’s better-than-expected earnings report earlier this week was the latest catalyst that pushed the stock higher. 

Meanwhile, Apple warned on Thursday that supply-chain disruptions are hindering iPhone and other product manufacturing. These issues are expected to bring increased challenges during the important holiday-shopping quarter. Shares fell Friday even as the company logged a record 12-month profit nearing $100 billion.

Apple ended Friday with a market cap of about $2.46 trillion.

The last time Microsoft had a bigger market cap than Apple was July 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data. 

Many of the big tech giants like Microsoft have benefited from the sustained shift to working from home and remote schooling throughout the pandemic. Microsoft’s embrace of cloud computing, one of the fastest growth areas in tech, has also been a key driver to the company’s bottom line. 

Microsoft has a 20% share of the global cloud-computing market, making it the second-largest player in the industry, according to

Gartner Inc.

It trails only

Amazon.com Inc.

, which has a more than 40% share.

Microsoft’s last extended run as the world’s most valuable company took place during the late 1990s and early 2000s, when its business mostly consisted of the Windows Operating system and its suite of Office software applications. 

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