Aramco Is Fast Closing In on Apple for Top Market Cap Spot
Apple May Be Challenged by Aramco as World’s Most Valuable Firm
(Bloomberg) -- Oil giant Saudi Aramco is narrowing the gap with Apple Inc. for the title of the world’s most valuable company.
Benefiting from oil prices hitting the highest since 2008, Aramco shares have jumped 15% in less than three weeks, giving it a market capitalization of over $2.3 trillion. Shares in iPhone maker Apple, meanwhile, have fallen 9% this year amid a broad market selloff, reducing its market value to about $2.6 trillion.
Though Aramco is still more than 10% away from reclaiming the top spot, the continued surge in energy prices as countries impose sanctions on Russia’s oil has raised the possibility.
“Everybody wants to stick to commodities,” said Mazen Al-Sudairi, Al Rajhi Capital’s head of research. With oil at $130 a barrel, Aramco’s earnings -- due later this month -- are set to get a big boost, giving the oil giant room to increase its dividend, he said by phone.
The last time Aramco held the title of most valuable company was for a brief period in September 2020, when global markets were recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since then, it’s been a predominantly Apple show, save for several weeks in October and November last year, when an earnings miss for Apple propelled software giant Microsoft Corp. to the number-one position.
Still, with investors seeking quality in volatile markets, Apple has been seen as a relative haven by some. The iPhone maker is the best performer among mega-cap tech companies this year, with its 9% drop beating a 17% decline for the Nasdaq 100 Index.
Apple shares rose as much as 2.7% in early trading today amid a broad-based market rebound, while Aramco fell 2.9% as oil prices dropped following three days of steep gains.
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