Apple lost its crown as the world’s most valuable public company to Microsoft on Friday, as shares of the iPhone maker continued their slide.
Apple received a $6 billion loss in sales during the last fiscal quarter due to a troubling problem in the global supply chain, which missed Wall Street expectations. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the impact would be worse in the current holiday sales quarter.
“Compared to FAANG’s less hardware-focused peers, Apple is also more vulnerable to supply chain disruption,” said Sophie Lund Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdowne.
Shares of Apple Inc. in Cupertino, California, fell 3.6% to $147, indicating a market value of $2.41 trillion. Shares of the Windows software maker rose 0.7% to $326.8 with a market valuation of $2.46 trillion. Microsoft shares are trading at a record level.
Apple, which has bought back $421.7 billion over the years, announced a massive $90 billion stock buyback in April. As a result, the company’s outstanding stock pool continues to shrink, ending its fiscal fourth quarter with 16.4 billion shares.
Microsoft’s stock is up more than 45% this year, with pandemic-driven demand for its cloud-based services driving sales. Apple shares are up 15% so far this year.
Apple’s stock market capitalization surpassed that of Microsoft in 2010 as the iPhone made it the world’s leading company in consumer technology. The companies have turned into the most valuable business on Wall Street in recent years, with Apple holding the title since mid-2020.
Analysts say Apple has managed the supply chain issue well, but with Cook warning of more pressure, the door is open for a blow to its performance as the holiday season begins.
In contrast, Microsoft on Tuesday predicted a strong end to the calendar year thanks to its booming cloud business, but warned that supply chain problems will continue to hamper major units, such as those that produce Surface laptops and Xbox game consoles.