Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Apple no longer the world's 'most valuable company'

Exxon Mobil's market capitalization today exceeded Apple's, allowing the company to regain the spot it lost to Apple.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Apple has lost its top spot as the world's most valuable company.

Apple shares today are down more than $11 to around $439, pushing its market capitalization below $412 billion. That decline, coupled with a 16-cent gain in Exxon Mobil's stock price that pushed that company's market cap to $417.2 billion, has robbed Apple of its market-cap leadership position.

Market capitalization measures the value of a company, and is calculated by multiplying a company's total shares outstanding by the share price.

Apple and Exxon Mobil had been battling for the top spot in 2011, when the iPhone maker's market cap hovered around $337 billion. However, after a string of outperforming quarters, Apple watched its share price soar to over $705, with its market cap rising in tandem. Last August, Apple became the most valuable company of all time when its market cap hit $622 billion.

Over the past several months, however, Apple's shares have tanked. Over the last six months, Apple's shares are down $136.24, or 23.7 percent. Since the beginning of 2013, Apple's stock has slid by $17.56.

Apple's shares are declining inversely to its corporate performance. Earlier this week, Apple announced that it generated $54.5 billion in revenue during the 13-week fiscal period ended December 29 -- its highest quarterly revenue ever. The company posted a profit of $13.1 billion on a record 47.8 million iPhones and 22.9 million iPads sold.

Still, investors were displeased. Apple's Mac sales slipped during the period, and consensus on Wall Street had expected a stronger profit. In the prior-year period, Apple generated the same $13.1 billion profit on $46.3 billion in revenue.

Investors also haven't lost sight of Apple's competitive struggles, as the company's iOS continues to lose ground to Android. Samsung, Apple's arch-nemesis in patent-infringement battles, is also shipping more smartphones than the iPhone maker.

Despite those issues and the declining stock price, Apple might soon regain its standing as the world's most valuable company: a total of 53 analysts have combined to set Apple's 12-month target share price at $647.18. At that level, Apple would easily overcome Exxon Mobil to regain its crown.