Microsoft has outpaced its rival of late thanks to investor hopes of AI-fueled growth
Microsoft rose above Apple to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company at the close of trading on Friday.
The software giant’s share price has continued to rally so far this year, building on last year’s strong performance, whereas Apple has encountered a number of obstacles. Microsoft’s aggressive rollout of a number of AI features over the past year has been rewarded by investors, who are hoping that the Seattle-based giant will be best positioned to take advantage of the AI boom.
Microsoft’s shares rose by more than 3% for the week, taking its market value to $2.89 trillion, just ahead of Apple, whose shares dropped nearly 3%, with its market capitalization edging down to $2.87 trillion.
Microsoft briefly topped Apple during intraday trading on Thursday for the first time since 2021 before giving up the top spot to the iPhone maker later in the session.
Shares of Apple, whose market value peaked at $3.081 trillion on December 14, ended last year with a gain of 48%. Microsoft, however, registered a 57% increase for the year.
So far this month, Apple’s shares are trading slightly lower versus a 5% rise for Microsoft. This comes as concerns over weakness in iPhone sales, especially in the key Chinese market, have triggered a number of analyst downgrades of Apple stock.
“China could be a drag on [Apple’s] performance over the coming years,” brokerage Redburn Atlantic said, as cited by Reuters. In a note to clients, the brokerage’s analysts pointed to competition from a resurgent Huawei and growing tensions between Washington and Beijing that have increased pressure on Apple.
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