Microsoft: Hey, wait a minute, our market cap is still larger than Apple’s!

“Boosted by upbeat investor reaction to its strong earnings report this week, Apple Inc. has become the second-largest company on the S&P 500 Index in terms of market capitalization, surpassing Microsoft Corp, the publisher of the index said Thursday,” Rex Crum reports for MarketWatch.

“According to Standard & Poor’s index services unit, Apple reached a market cap of $241.5 billion to pass that of Microsoft’s $239.5 billion market capitalization,” Crum reports. “Now Apple trails only Exxon Mobil and its market cap of more than $300 billion, S&P said.”

“The S&P 500, like many other Standard & Poor’s indexes, is float-adjusted. To calculate the index’s components by market capitalization, S&P excludes shares not available to public investors – those closely held by “control groups,” other companies and government agencies,” Crum reports. “Some 87.7% of Microsoft shares are publicly floated, vs. 99.2% for Apple shares, according to FactSet Research. Using all shares outstanding, Microsoft’s market capitalization is still larger than Apple’s, S&P acknowledges.”

“Microsoft took umbrage of its demoted ranking. The company said that using all 8.764 billion shares outstanding, which it valued at $30 a share, would put the company’s market cap $262 billion,” Crum reports. “‘Just because Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer don’t trade their shares doesn’t mean that the market cap doesn’t include them,’ said Bill Koefoed, general manager for Microsoft investor relations, in emailed comments.”

MacDailyNews Take: You’d think the general manager for Microsoft investor relations would have his hands full 24/7 explaining why his company’s share price graph looks like a parking lot and trying to persuade them not to dump their shares to buy Apple instead:

Crum reports, “But Standard & Poor’s stuck by its ranking. ‘Apple is bigger on a float basis, which is what the index is,’ said S&P senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt in an emailed response to MarketWatch. ‘I also state that on a full basis, MSFT is still larger,’ he said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft would have done better to keep their mouths shut as this whining will only serve to intensify the reactions when the inevitable arrives.

As we have always said, even as many short-sightedly waved (and continue to wave) the white flag, the war is not over. And, yes, we shall prevail… No company is invincible. Not even Microsoft.MacDailyNews Take, January 10, 2005


  1. Catching up in market cap 10 billion in two days is breath taking. When is the M$ board going to become bored with the salesman running the company?

  2. All this will change as soon as Microsoft releases it’s Big Ass Touch Zune Table Phone Xbox device!

    But what about the Billion Dollar Server Farm that Apple is raping up now? Oh, Microsoft will have one of those too with a 10,000 person IT staff to keep it running (most of the time) (Maybe?)

  3. as i mentioned yesterday in a similar vein, the s and p is a better, non-inflationary method of calculating market cap. if all those microsoft options were exercised it would have a deflating effect on the price per share because the company’s value hadn’t changed and there were more shares available. that is why, regardless of when it happens in the future, yesterday was the real, best-measured day when apple passed microsoft.

  4. I must admit I do get a little heady when this sort of thing is mentioned. Ten years ago I was just happy that the company seemed safe from extinction, five years ago I still would not have believed this is possible in an imaginable time period. Even a year ago I though though possible it would still take some years. Now it just seems a matter of time and inevitability and likely imminent too.

    After years of childish bating by the PC weenies, which due to circumstances represent little more than unimaginative fanboy chants these days, I can honestly say a mild knowing smile has permanently fixed itself to my face. Things are so good that I don’t even feel more than a very slight pang to sink to their childish level of behaviour in response to the new World Order so soon to be. The knowledge of their pain is pleasure enough… and the undoubted look on Ballmer’s face as each piece of bad news reaches him.

  5. Almost as dumb as the right-wing press in the UK suddenly focussing on the leader of the THIRD party (Lib-Dems) in this country’s election, thus immediately affording Nick Clegg the credibility they say he doesn’t deserve.

    All MSFT’s Investor Relations guy has done is the following:-

    1) Gotten into a pissing contest on an arcane point of valuation.

    2) Drawn attention to Apple’s increasing value: Go to here and then choose log scale and last 10 years. Seriously, it’s a hoot of a graph.

    3) Demonstrated that MSFT is actually worried about market cap as a metric of its credibility! Probably because they don’t have any innovation to speak about. And no mobile devices strategy. And no consumer strategy.

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