October 26, 2018 / 5:08 PM / 2 years ago

Microsoft overtakes Amazon as second most valuable U.S. company

    By Noel Randewich
    SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp
regained its spot as the second most valuable U.S. company on
Friday after a disappointing quarterly report from Amazon.com
 wiped $65 billion off the online retailer's market
    Apple Inc tops the list at over $1 trillion after
crossing that threshold in September. Microsoft's market
capitalization was Wall Street's highest in late 1998 through
early 2000 before the dot-com bubble burst.  
    Amazon's shares dropped 7 percent, the most in nearly three
years after its holiday season sales outlook missed targets,
fanning concerns that Wall Street's tech darlings are finally
starting to face stronger competition.
    Microsoft fell a more modest 2 percent in a broad technology
sell-off that was also driven by a weaker-than-expected report
from Google-parent Alphabet Inc, leaving the Nasdaq
down 2.1 percent at midday.

    Shares of Microsoft remain up nearly 4 percent from
Wednesday, when the four-decade-old software company beat
quarterly profit expectations, driven by its cloud computing
business that competes with Amazon's.
    Its stock market value on Friday stood at $823 billion, on
track to close above Amazon's for the first time since April,
when it gave up its spot as second largest company by market
    Amazon was worth $805 billion on Friday, after falling below
Microsoft's in extended trade on Thursday. The drop was
equivalent to the combined values of Target Corp and
Corning Inc. 
    Amazon's tumble left it up around 40 percent year to date,
while Microsoft has gained about 25 percent in 2018. On
Wednesday, Amazon's stock traded at the equivalent of 70 times
expected earnings, its lowest level since 2011.
    The average analyst price target for Microsoft puts its
market cap at $963 billion, while the average price target for
Amazon values it at $1.068 trillion.
    Apple will report quarterly results on Thursday.

 (Reporting by Noel Randewich in San Francisco; Editing by
Richard Chang)
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