Apple overtakes Saudi Aramco; Becomes the world’s most valuable company

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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With its market value overtaking Saudi Aramco in the wake of better-than-expected profits, Apple has become the world’s most valuable firm.

On Friday, Apple shares soared 10%, finishing the day with a massive $1,817 trillion market capitalization.

It’s the first time the company’s valuation has topped that of the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, which made its market debut in Riyadh in December and is estimated at $1.76 trillion.

Previous to that, Apple had battled with Microsoft for the position of the largest public company in the United States.

Apple is among the few companies that have gained from the pandemic. The pandemic has led to enhanced market positions of the world’s largest technology firms, boasting of fast-growing businesses and healthy balance sheets as there is an increased shift towards digital services.

According to Refinitiv data, Saudi Aramco, which had been the most valuable publicly traded firm since it went public last year, had a market capitalization of $1,760 trillion as of its last closing.

But it has been a rough few months for Aramco, with oil prices plummeting as energy demand collapsed due to the virus spread. According to analyst forecasts, Aramco’s second-quarter revenue was likely down to around $37 billion from $76 billion a year earlier. That’s less than the $59.7 billion in revenue announced by Apple for its latest period.

Though Aramco’s stock has been down by 6.4% since the end of December, that’s much less compared to what the other oil majors have witnessed with Exxon’s stock falling by 40% while Royal Dutch Shell’s fell by 50%.

So far this year, shares of the iPhone manufacturer have gained 45% as investors expect Apple and other big US technology firms to emerge stronger than smaller competitors from the coronavirus pandemic.

Yesterday, Apple had reported a better than expected profit for the year which was majorly contributed by the sales of its accessories and services like apps and digital content.