Apple Inc. has overtaken Saudi Aramco to become the most valuable company in the world in the midst of better-than-projected earnings.
Apple soared 10 percent with its stock settling at 425.04 on Friday, capping the day with a record market cap of $1.817 trillion. It marks the first time its valuation has topped Saudi Arabia's national oil conglomerate, which made its market debut in Riyadh in December and is now worth $1.76 trillion.
Prior to that, the iPhone maker had vied with Microsoft Corp. for the bragging rights of the biggest publicly-traded group in the United States.
It was Apple's biggest single-day percentage rally since March 13, and the feat gave it $172 billion in market capitalization during the trading, larger than the entire market value of Oracle Corp.
Apple's robust fiscal third-quarter earnings, released on Thursday, strengthened its stock as investors lobbied behind the tech giant's 11 percent year-on-year advance. The company also announced a 4-for-1 stock sharing. Apple has bounced back from a pandemic slump in March and its shares have climbed over 44 percent this year.
In a research note on Friday, Morgan Stanley analysts said that despite the pandemic headwinds, Apple hiked its sales in "every segment and geography, surpassing consensus revenue by 14 percent as ecosystem engagement soars," Jessica Bursztynsky quoted the analysts as saying in an NBC report.
Nairametrics revealed last week how Apple Inc's third-quarter sales beat Wall Street estimates in spite of the coronavirus restrictions, showing that consumers purchased more new iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers to stay in touch during the crisis.
Apple's fiscal third-quarter revenue was pegged at $60 billion, a record for the June period, Apple said in a statement. This figure rose 11 percent from a year ago and exceeded analysts' projections of $52.3 billion.
More than 20 analysts have elevated their price goals for Apple's stock after the company's report, according to Refinitiv. However, the latest median analyst price target of $409.63 is over $15 short compared to Friday's closing price.
Saudi Aramco's dethroning comes after a stormy period for the Saudi group. Its initial public offering fell way short of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's expectations.
Saudi's de facto ruler initially required a valuation of $2 trillion. But after foreign investors flinched from the pricing, the Kingdom settled on a smaller local bid and secured around $30 billion, which was still the biggest IPO ever.
Aramco's stock has fallen 6.5 percent since the end of December, although that figure is far less compared to the drop of other oil giants. Exxon Mobil has retreated 40 percent and Royal Dutch Shell has fallen by half.