: Microsoft set to overtake Apple as largest U.S. company for first time since July 2020

Microsoft Corp. is set to overtake Apple Inc. as the most valuable U.S. company for the first time in 15 months after the smartphone giant reported a rare sales miss in the face of supply constraints.

Apple shares

are off 3.7% in premarket trading Friday, which would imply a valuation of $2.409 trillion if the movement carries through to live trading, based on the company’s most recent share count of 16.406 billion disclosed in its latest 10-K.

Microsoft shares

are up 0.1% premarket, which would imply a valuation of $2.435 trillion based on the share count of 7.508 billion that the company disclosed in its September-quarter filing.

Microsoft was last larger than Apple on July 2, 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

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Microsoft and Apple both face pressures from supply constraints, but Apple appears to be feeling the sting more deeply since hardware makes up the bulk of its revenue. The company fell short of sales expectations for its fiscal fourth quarter as it estimated a $6 billion negative impact from supply issues, and Apple executives forecast a greater impact for the current quarter.

While COVID-related manufacturing disruptions have eased, the company still faces chip shortages affecting “pretty much most of our products currently,” Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Apple’s earnings call. The company still expects to report record revenue during the December quarter.

Microsoft acknowledged supply constraints as well when it posted fiscal first-quarter earnings Tuesday afternoon but it also issued a personal-computing forecast that easily exceeded the consensus view.

“I believe Q2 will also be a strong demand quarter that is constrained by supply,” Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said on the earnings call, though she still sees a “growing market.”

Microsoft gained ground on Apple this year thanks to a 46% run for its stock, compared with a 15% rise for Apple shares during 2021. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
of which both are components, is up 17% in that span.

This post was originally published on Market Watch

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