Exxon may pass Apple's market cap
The 2 stocks may move in different directions in the near term.
By Douglas A. McIntyre
It's been nearly exactly a year since Apple (AAPL) has taken the crown of the most valuable stock permanently away from Exxon Mobil (XOM). But perhaps not for much longer as the market capitalization of Exxon may pass that of Apple's on Thursday, or, if not, relatively soon.
Apple's stock fell 11% after it reported lackluster earnings and disappointing iPhone sales as well as issued a weak forecast. The 11% drop put Apple's market cap at $430 billion. Exxon's is $415 billion. A 4% increase in Exxon's share price, or a small slip beyond the 11% in Apple's, is all that is needed to make up the difference.
On their face, Apple's numbers were strong. The iPhone maker announced record quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per diluted share. The figures compared to revenue of $46.3 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago. But the revenue was considered light, and iPhone sales disappointed despite impressive numbers. Apple sold a record 47.8 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 37 million in the same quarter a year ago.
Near-term, Apple may find that a number of analysts cut their forecasts for iPhone growth in the current quarter, as they worry about the market share taken by arch-rival Samsung. Some of these analysts may cut their share price targets and earnings forecasts as well.
Exxon's stock price, on the other hand, may be buoyed by several factors that could move up crude prices. Among them is a record demand for oil in China. Research firm Platts reported that the demand for crude rose 7.7% to 10.58 million barrels a day in December. Crude also could move higher as North Korea said it would target the United States with its next long-range missile, and as unrest in Africa's energy producing nations increases. Crude rose 0.4% to $95.42 on the North Korea news.
Apple's share price over the next few days will rely largely on who wins the debate over whether its future as a growth stock has ended. If the majority case is that it has, Apple's shares have further to fall.
More from 24/7 Wall St.
"WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama will nominate former U.S. attorney Mary Jo White, who built a reputation prosecuting white-collar crimes, to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency that has a central role in implementing Wall Street reform. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama would announce White's nomination during a ceremony in the State Dining Room Thursday afternoon. "She's got an incredibly impressive resume," Carney said. "The president is very pleased to be able to nominate her." At the same event, Obama will renominate Richard Cordray to serve as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a White House official said."
If White doesn't come in with shrunken banker heads on her belt, she's just another bureaucrat who will fail us. As for Cordray... all we got was a mortgage application instruction book with more pages than it's FNMA Form number... 1003... a 4-page document! Don't understand it? Put your cell phone down.
Did Big Oil tap directly into the Mississippi River source or Lake Superior for the water to leech the oil out of that shale in ND? Surely there will be plenty of young useless Wall Streeters buying those 850 hp Ford Mustangs to waste it for us.
Us? We'll still be dying out here without options or enterprise. What does it take? A fraking earthquake to get through to you?
Exxon tops Apple in market cap. Is either of these pariahs doing us any good? No, not at all. I'd tell you to go buy a hand basket but all of the commonsense people bought them out and not at Wal-Mart.
Wanted: Emergency Job Recoverers. Apply at the White House.
Wanted: Emergency Small Business Animators. Must be one to qualify.
Unwanted: Emergency Financial Managers. Don't let the door hit you in the on your way out of America.
What happened to America? Not sure but it sure had pretty spreadsheets when it went down.
"Wall Street gains for seventh day"
America falls for the 13th year. Can anyone tell me what banks, the Federal Reserve and Wall Street actually DO for America?
"Exxon may pass Apple market cap"
You were unsure this would happen? Big Oil can cause wars, fly planes into buildings, destroy every alternative it wants to. Certainly no fancy handheld device platform business was going to upstage Satan Oil.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
These hot movers could rise by double digits in coming months.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.