Alphabet, the parent company of Google and Android, has now vaulted Apple (News - Alert) to become the most valuable company in the world.
It all began with Alphabet’s fourth-quarter report. The company published the numbers after-hours on Monday, revealing earnings that surpassed internal and external expectations.
That success led to a after-market frenzy. Alphabet jumped up 6 percent to a valuation of $554 billion, surpassing Apple’s $534 market cap and breaking its 4-year stranglehold on the “MVC” crown.
Alphabet has been on a major tear since July of 2015. Its market value jumped from $520/share to almost $700/share during that month, and has climbed peaks and valleys ever since. Shares currently sit at $780/share, but are expected to climb as a result of Alphabet’s good news.
Alphabet’s success is due to the primacy of its search function. Google’s (News - Alert) search and ad-click revenue racked in $21.3 billion alone, buoying the costs and debts of Alphabet’s other, less profitable services and investments. Investors will be watching Alphabet’s more futuristic projects, including virtual reality, a driverless car, and artificial intelligence, with expectant eyes.
Apple, meanwhile, has experienced slow iPhone (News - Alert) sales and a lackluster stock performance. The iPhone only increased in sales .4 percent, while Apple’s revenue increased 1.7 percent year-over-year. The company seems to be changing from the ever-growing tech giant to a more stable, value stock.
The news is a bit at odds with the general trend of the market, lately. 2016 has not been kind to the market. Oil prices have slumped, which leaves Americans happy at the pump but dismayed at their 401k. China experienced a moment of freefall early in the year, continuing a several-month slowdown of the nation’s governmentally inflated economy.
Investors will watch Alphabet and Apple with sharp eyes today. The usurper Alphabet may still have room to run, especially with still Apple falling as of this writing.