Software giant Microsoft breaches $2.6 trillion valuation, but Apple remains the most valuable publicly listed tech company
Microsoft has added a couple of hundred billion dollars to its value in the past few weeks, growing its market capitalisation even further.
Microsoft shares rose to a new record high close on Thursday, thanks in part to investor optimism about its artificial intelligence (AI) push, which helped the tech giant achieve a record market capitalisation of $2.59 trillion.
This comes despite Microsoft facing significant regulatory opposition and setbacks in both the United Kingdom and United States to its proposed $69 billion acquisition of game publisher Activision Blizzard.
But this has not impacted Wall Street confidence in Microsoft, as Redmond is pleasing the investor community due to its leading position in the AI sector.
Microsoft achieved this via its heavy investments in OpenAI, the San Francisco-based startup that owns the popular chatbot ChatGPT.
Last month, Microsoft began rolling out a host of AI upgrades, including ChatGPT, to its Azure cloud services as well as its search engine Bing – in a move that seeks to challenge the dominance of Alphabet’s Google.
All of this has helped drive up Microsoft’s perceived market value.
Microsoft’s shares closed up 3.2 percent at $348.10 per share on Thursday.
It should be noted that Microsoft’s stock has gained more than 45 percent in the year to date.
Its previous share price record was back in November 2021, when its share price reached a then record close of $343.11.
Trillion dollar club
There are five US companies that have breached the $1 trillion club, including most recently GPU powerhouse Nvidia.
Apple became the first publicly listed US company worth $1 trillion (£770bn) back in August 2018.
Then in August 2020, as the Coronavirus pandemic was engulfing the world, Apple breached the $2 trillion valuation.
In January 2022 Apple became the first company ever to briefly reach the $3 trillion market capitalisation milestone, after its shares hit a record high of $182.88.
Apple is currently valued at $2.94 trillion.
Microsoft is the only firm close to Apple, as Redmond is currently valued at $2.59 trillion.