Apple has become the world’s most valuable company with its market value overtaking Saudi Aramco.
Apple’s shares jumped 10% on Friday, ending the day with a record market capitalization of $1.817 trillion. It’s the first time the company’s valuation has surpassed that of Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, which made its market debut in Riyadh in December and is valued at $1.76 trillion.
For Apple, it has gained 45% so far this year as many around the world relied on the internet to get jobs done or perform transactions.
Certain factors gave Apple the chance to overtake Saudi Aramco. First, its initial public offering fell short of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s expectations. The Crown Prince targetted a valuation of $2 trillion and raise $100 billion.
However, after foreign investors resisted the pricing, the government settled on a smaller domestic offering and raised about $30 billion, still the largest IPO ever.
Then came this year’s plunge in crude prices as energy demand crashed with the spread of the coronavirus. Aramco’s second-quarter revenue probably dropped to about $37 billion from $76 billion a year earlier. That’s less than the $59.7 billion in sales that Apple reported for its most recent period.
Aramco’s stock has been down 6.4% since the end of December, though that’s far less than the fall of other oil majors. Exxon Mobil Corp. has declined 40% and Royal Dutch Shell Plc has dropped 50%.