Amazon’s stock market value hit new highs on Wednesday, pushing the online retail giant one step closer to potentially dislodging Apple as the world’s most valuable firm.
Marking a major milestone in the firm’s 21-year trajectory as a publicly listed firm, Amazon saw its market capitalization briefly surpass the US$900 billion mark, reducing the gap with Apple for the crown as Wall Street’s most valuable jewel, Reuters reports.
After announcing on Wednesday that it sold more than US$100 million products during its annual Prime Day sale, Amazon’s share price briefly touched US$1,858.88, giving it a market capitalization of US$902 billion.
That put it close to Apple, which currently boasts a market value of about US$935 billion.
Amazon’s stock has surged more than 57 percent in 2018, bringing its increase to over 123,000 percent since it listed on the Nasdaq in 1997.
An investor who bought one share of Amazon for US$18 in the IPO would now have an investment worth more than US$22,200, including three stock splits in the 1990s, Reuters noted.
After Jeff Bezos founded the online book-selling company in his garage in 1994, Amazon survived the dot-com crisis and then expanded across the retail industry, altering how consumers buy products and setting off a struggle among brick-and-mortar stores.
Apple replaced Exxon Mobil in late 2011 as the US firm with the largest stock market value. The iPhone maker’s shares have risen 12 percent in 2018, bringing its market cap to US$935.84 billion.
As Amazon expands into grocery retail through its acquisition of Whole Foods Market last year, and as more businesses move their IT departments onto the cloud, its stock price has been red hot.
Amazon was recently trading at 111 times expected earnings, compared to 15 times earnings in the case of Apple which is more profitable but is growing at a slower pace, Reuters noted.
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