Apple reign at number one ends
Apple surrendered the title of the world’s most valuable company to Exxon Mobil after concern over slowing growth drove the shares to the biggest loss in the Standard & Poor’s 500.
Apple’s 12-month reign as the number one stock ended after the shares slumped 18 per cent this year, worse than any other companies in the benchmark gauge for US equities.
The decline cut its market capitalisation to $412 billion, below Exxon Mobil’s $417 billion.
The switch in rankings reflected fading confidence in Apple, whose 15 years of transformation from a near-bankrupt PC maker to a technology leader dominating the smartphone and tablet market helped it become the most valuable US company ever in 2012.
Apple shares have fallen by 37 per cent from a record in September, amid concern that mounting costs and competition may curtail growth.
“You have one company that had pretty high expectations for it for the future and you have Exxon that continues to chip away slow and steady,” Jason Cooper, who helps oversee $2.5 billion at 1st Source Investment Advisors, said.
“People are coming to the realisation that Apple is losing a little bit of floss and shine.”
About $245 billion has been shaved from Apple’s value since it rose to its all-time high. Even as chief executive Tim Cook guided Apple to record iPad and iPhone sales, investors worried about its ability to keep making hit products more than a year after the death of co-founder Steve Jobs.
Samsung and others have followed Apple’s lead into the era of mobile touchscreen devices and are grabbing market share by introducing smartphones in various designs and prices.
Apple earnings will continue to worsen in the current quarter, with analysts projecting a 14 per cent drop, according to Bloomberg estimates.
Exxon Mobil is up almost 6 per cent this year as profit is forecast to rebound from three quarters of declines. – (Bloomberg)