Maybe you haven't noticed, but
) is once again on top of the world. No, really. After briefly
dropping below $400 per share last month, Apple's stock has jumped
about 13% in the wake of its April 23 earnings announcement - and
the news that day that it would return $100 billion to shareholders
in the form of buybacks and dividend increases.
The runup has given Apple a market capitalization of just over $430
billion - once again the largest in the world. Apple and
) have been trading the market cap crown. As of April 18, Exxon had
a market cap of $385 billion, slightly ahead of Apple's $378
billion, according to FactSet data cited by MarketWatch. Apple's
surge has opened up some distance on Exxon, which now has a market
value just over $405 billion.
Apple may have recaptured that crown, but it's in peril of losing a
(OTCMKTS:SSNLF) already has a dominant lead over Apple in
smartphone market share - and it may soon overtake Apple in
smartphone profits, according to analyst Michael Walkley of
research firm Canaccord Genuity.
Combined, the two companies accounted for all the mobile handset
industry's operating profits in the first quarter of the year,
according to Walkley, with Apple capturing 57% of profits and
Samsung taking 43%.
That mix is already tilted more toward Samsung than the results for
all of 2012, when Apple posted 69% of the industry's operating
profit and Samsung had 34%. (Those figures add up to more than 100%
because players like
) posted operating losses.) In the first quarter of 2012, Apple
accounted for 74% of the industry's operating profit while Samsung
This could be the quarter when Samsung overtakes Apple. "During the
June quarter, we believe softer iPhone sales combined with strong
Samsung Galaxy S4 sales could result in Samsung surpassing Apple
for the top share of handset industry profits," Walkley writes in
his industry overview this week.
As Apple already knows, and Samsung may learn eventually, uneasy
lies the head that wears the crown.
Editor's Note: This article by Yuval Rosenberg
originally appeared on
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