Apple’s fourth-quarter earnings fell short of expectations this week as the gadget behemoth sold fewer iPhones, iPads and other devices than analysts expected.
Further weight on the stock Friday dragged the company’s market capitalisation to $413.06 billion, below that of oil giant ExxonMobil, which closed with a market value of $418.23 billion.
The Rex Tillerson-led company slipped to the No. 2 spot after Apple first overtook the top slot in 2011.
Apple first dropped below ExxonMobil Friday morning, briefly regaining the lead in the early afternoon before falling again to close down 2.36% at $439.88 per share.
ExxonMobil closed up 0.42% at $91.73, having rebounded from a recent low of $85.10 on 28 December.
Having invented and reinvented popular music, telecommunication and reading devices, Apple has struggled to keep pace with its high historic growth rates and faces a threat from cheaper devices from competitors.
The death of founder Steve Jobs last year has also weighed on the company’s fortunes, with investors uncertain whether heirs to the innovator’s brain trust can keep cranking out the wildly successful projects.
Meanwhile, overall markets, including ExxonMobil, have surged on factors like strong energy demand and improved US economic data.
*Kathrine Schmidt, Upstreamonline