APPLE Inc lost its crown as the world’s most valuable public company to Microsoft on Friday, as the iPhone maker’s shares fell about 2 percent.
Apple took a $6 billion (R91bn) hit to its sales during the fiscal fourth quarter due to persistent global supply chain problems, leading to a miss on Wall Street expectations. Top boss Tim Cook said the impact would be even worse in the current holiday sales quarter.
“Compared to less hardware focused FAANG peers, Apple is also a lot more exposed to supply chain disruption,” said Sophie Lund-Yates, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Apple’s shares dropped 1.8 percent to end the session at $149.80, giving the company a market capitalisation of $2.48 trillion. By contrast, shares of Windows software maker Microsoft rose 2.2 percent to a record high of $331.62, ending the session with a market capitalisation of $2.4 trillion.
Apple, which has repurchased $421.7bn worth of shares over the years, had announced a massive $90bn share buyback in April. As a result, the outstanding stock pool keeps shrinking, and the company ended its fiscal fourth quarter with 16.4 billion shares.
Microsoft’s stock has surged 49 percent this year, with pandemic-induced demand for its cloud-based services driving sales. Shares of Apple have climbed 13 percent so far this year.
Microsoft last week forecast a strong end to the calendar year. But it also warned that supply-chain woes would continue to dog key units, such as those producing its Surface laptops and Xbox gaming consoles.