For most of the past two years, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) held the top spot as the most valuable company in the world as measured by market cap, having wrestled the crown away from Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM). In March, Exxon took the lead briefly again and the two have see-sawed back and forth until late last month when Apple started to open up some distance between the two firms.
Apple's market cap today is about $433 billion, compared with Exxon's of around $403 billion. Exxon's market cap reached a peak of around $466 billion in the fall of 2007, when oil prices briefly scared $150 a barrel.
Apple peaked at a market cap of about $613 billion almost exactly five years later. But the company did not break through the $400 billion mark until last December. The steepness of Apple's rise to its peak is matched only by the steepness of its decline. Roughly $200 billion in valuation gained and lost is not much more than a year.
But in a listing that is virtually meaningless, Apple is now firmly back on top. And Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) with a market cap of around $285 billion has just taken over third place in the league tables from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), valued at $282 billion.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Electronics, HI/LOW, Internet, Oil & Gas, Technology Companies Tagged: AAPL, featured, GOOG, MSFT, XOM