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Summary:

Exxon retakes the lead in market capitalization as Apple’s stock continues its precipitous drop since posting its best ever revenues ($54 billion) and profits ($13 billion) and all-time best iPhone and iPad sales.

As investors continue to punish Apple stock — even after the company posted its best revenues and profits ever on Wednesday — Apple’s run as the world’s most valuable publicly held company has come to an end. Exxon Mobil’s market cap hit $416.1 billion Friday morning, as Apple’s slipped to $414.7 billion. It’s not a surprise to those watching Apple’s stock the last few days. The symbolism, however, is bigger than Apple: it’s significant that a tech company is no longer perched atop the business world.

This is the first time Apple and Exxon have switched places since last January, when Apple overtook the oil company in market capitalization.

But Apple shares have been on a rollercoaster since September when they hit their peak at $702.10. This week Apple’s stock has dropped precipitously after posting its highest-ever revenues ($54 billion) and profits ($13 billion) and all-time best iPhone and iPad sales of 48 million and 22 million, respectively, during its fiscal first quarter of 2013. Shares are currently valued below $440, after being priced above $510 going into earnings on Wednesday.

Investors are deeply worried that Apple’s profits are no longer growing as fast as they once were and fear Apple is losing ground too fast to competitors like Samsung in both smartphones and tablets. Apple CEO Tim Cook used his time on the company’s earnings call this week to try to instill confidence into analysts that the company’s future is bright and that Apple knows what it’s doing when it comes to making products people will buy and pricing them appropriately and that it has a product pipeline that is “chock-full” of innovative ideas. Thus far, however, his speech does not appear to have had the calming effect he intended.

Update: At the close of the stock market Friday at 1 p.m. PT, Exxon remained on top, but just barely: its market cap stands at $417 billion, and Apple’s is just behind at $416.32.

  1. Wall Street is just a bunch of lemmings.

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  2. Can apple be so arrogate ? Sells we’re strong but the future shows small growth. You have so much cash why? Invest and give some back to the shareholders who believe in you guys. Please me cook speak to us the public and tell us this is only a bump in the road.

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  3. Nicholas Paredes Friday, January 25, 2013

    PE10. Thank you, I’m finally buying a few more.

    It might not move for a bit, but with a solid core business, and great profitability they are a great stock to own, regardless of what you believe will happen to the handset business in the coming years. Frankly, I’d bet on better interoperability, something that Apple could definitely improve on.

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  4. Android and Microsoft’s gains are starting to show in Apple’s numbers. The tide is turning. They have to start competing on price to sell units. Apple’s business model failed the first time around because everyone liked the products but the price “Apple Premium” did not warrant paying more for their products. There were options that were not as cool but made financial sense. I would argue that Android has product that is just as cool. :) History will repeat.

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  5. I have always found the business of stocks so useless and anti-business. Despite having such high sales and profits, the ‘pundits’ and ‘analysts’ weigh the stock down. Who cares? (Performance below ‘analysts’ expectations: so sack the analyst for wrong forecasts. Dont park your money with him).

    I find it amazing how some people have made a very lucrative career of trading in fictitious papers of other companies, which are valued based on some nonsense metrics and ‘sentiments’. Ad pressurising the companies to make decisions based on the tradeability of these fictitious papers. If companies has to listen to these ‘pundits’, half of the worlds products would never be made. Because these analysts dont understand creativity and innovation. It confounds them.

    I think we need to reinvent the stock market. We need disruption here.

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