The Largest USA Tech Companies have reported first quarter 2012 financial results. Benjamin Graham said, “In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run it is a weighing machine.” How has the market voted?
The quick answer is: There is Apple, then everyone else, in the market valuation stakes – and I really mean everyone else. Apple is the clear and continuing leader of all companies in the world with a market capitalization of $562 billion. Exxon Mobil is a distant #2 worldwide at $406 billion. In the technology sector, Apple is larger than #2 Microsoft and #3 IBM combined and the latest earnings were incredible.
Microsoft is #2 at $268 billion and IBM is #3 at $240 billion. These two have jostled for #2 position over the months, but the latest quarterly earnings favored Microsoft. Google is fourth at $199.9 billion but has never really mounted a threat for #3. Even with the latest record financial performance, Google created significant uncertainty for stockholders.
Further back are #5 Oracle ($147 billion) and #6 Intel ($142 billion). Oracle reported encouraging earnings and outlook in March. Intel reported discouraging financial results in April as they scramble to refresh their product line.
Now the race gets interesting. Qualcomm ($109 billion) has moved up, on record financial results, to #7 ahead of now #8 Cisco ($107 billion). Cisco reports May 9 and will have the opportunity to regain seventh place.
I have included #9 Amazon ($103 billion) because of the Kindle Fire, streaming, cloud services, and the resulting competition with others listed. Struggling HP, which reorganizes reorganizations, is last at $49 billion, which is less than 10% of Apple’s market capitalization! Amazon’s latest earnings surprise was enough to convince the market that Happy Days Are Here Again!. HP reports May 23 and maybe can reset dismal expectations.
The market valuation above is as of the market close on April 27, 2012 and provides a snapshot of value. All prior and expected financial performance and position has been priced into these publicly traded stocks, along with any other financial system, economic, and political uncertainties to-date.
Updated through Apple quarterly financial results reported 4-24-12
Next reports: Cisco (May), HP (May), Oracle (June)