Amazon is giving Apple a run for its money

Jeff is coming for you, Tim.
Jeff is coming for you, Tim.
Image: Reuters/Rick Wilking
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It was 2011 when Apple first passed ExxonMobil to become the biggest company on the market, and it’s barely been challenged since. Apple’s $833 billion market cap puts it well ahead of its nearest competitors. But a pack of richly valued technology companies is vying to give Apple a run for its money—and Amazon is in the lead.

Amazon’s stock surged up to 7% in extended trading today (April 26), after the company smashed estimates for first-quarter earnings. Amazon reported earnings of $3.27 a share, more than double the $1.24 that FactSet analysts were expecting. Sales totaled $51 billion, 2% better than the expected $49.9 billion. The beat was driven by strong results in Amazon’s subscription services division, which includes fees associated with Amazon Prime and other streaming services, as well as beats from its physical stores segment and third-party sellers.

As of today’s market close, Amazon’s market cap stood at $736 billion. That’s a good bit behind Apple, but Amazon is now poised to jump at the open on Friday (April 27). A big enough move could bring it within striking range of Apple, which reports its second-quarter results on May 1.

Amazon is also already worth more than Apple in terms of enterprise value, a measure that adjusts for cash holdings and debt. Amazon’s enterprise value first surpassed Apple’s in late January, and was beating it this week, ahead of first-quarter earnings.