My1sttoday: Microsoft is now the second US company to reach $2 Trillion networth. Microsoft Corp. took its place in the history books as just the second U.S. public company to reach a $2 trillion market value joining Apple Inc, according to Bloomberg.
Its shares rose as much as 1.2% in New York on Tuesday, enough for the software company to briefly join Apple Inc. as one of only two companies trading at such a lofty value before closing pennies short of the mark at $265.51. Saudi Aramco eclipsed that threshold briefly in December 2019, but currently has a market value of about $1.9 trillion.
Since taking the reins in 2014, Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has reshaped the Redmond, Washington-based company into the largest seller of cloud-computing software, counting both its infrastructure and Office application cloud units. Microsoft is also the only one of the biggest U.S. technology companies that has so far evaded the recent wave of scrutiny from increasingly active American antitrust regulators, giving it a freer hand in both acquisitions and product expansion.
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Microsoft has gained 19% so far this year, outperforming Apple and Amazon.com Inc., as investors piled into the stock on expectations of long-term growth for both earnings and revenue, and expansion in areas like machine learning and cloud computing. The company’s third-quarter results, released in late April, topped expectations and demonstrated strong growth across its business segments.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index outperformed the S&P 500 Index on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his view that inflation will be short lived. Both benchmarks extended gains after Powell’s comments with the Nasdaq 100 closing up 0.9% and the S&P 500 up 0.5%.
Microsoft “has its hands in a lot and it is doing it all well: gaming, cloud, automation, analytics, AI,” said Hilary Frisch, senior research analyst at Clearbridge Investments. “It is an attractively valued name within tech, and it should benefit from both the economy reopening as well as from a more pronounced shift toward the cloud.”
While it took Microsoft 33 years from its IPO to reach its first $1 trillion in value in 2019, the next trillion only took about two years amid a surge in popularity in tech stocks before the Covid-19 pandemic and during the health crisis. Apple made Wall Street history when it reached $2 trillion last year.
Among U.S. names, the pair are trailed by Amazon, which has a market cap of nearly $1.8 trillion, and Alphabet Inc., which is valued around $1.6 trillion.
“Microsoft checks all the boxes: it is in the markets that investors favor, it offers strong and sustainable growth, and it remains very well positioned to capitalize on the long-term secular trends we see in technology,” said Logan Purk, an analyst at Edward Jones. A $2 trillion valuation “is warranted, given how it has pivoted toward the cloud, and it remains attractively valued even given the strong performance.”
According to data compiled by Bloomberg, more than 90% of analysts recommend buying Microsoft, while none has the equivalent of a sell rating on the stock. The average price target points to upside of about 11% from current levels.