Not to be outdone by the late Tuesday surge by Apple ( AAPL ) as the globe's most valuable company, ExxonMobil ( XOM ) proceeded to leapfrog beyond the consumer electronics giant at the last minute, immediately prior to markets closing, The Los Angeles Times reports . The achievement marks one significant feather in the cap of the Cupertino, California tech giant, which less than 15 years ago was teetering on the precipice of bankruptcy.
"The Apple of today is different from the Apple of even a few years ago," analyst Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee & Leach told Bloomberg. "People who buy Apple tend to buy big and get your friends and family to do it as well. There's nothing else like that."
Apple's market value topped out Tuesday at $346.7 billion and ExxonMobil's market reached as high as $348.3 billion, The Los Angeles Times reports. But strong sales of the iPhone and the iPad tablet are expected to push Apple beyond the oil giant as the gap has been closing for the past 12 months.
Philip Weiss, an Argus Research analyst, told Bloomberg that ExxonMobil has been harmed by oil prices' descent and a rising dependence on natural gas.