Apple was the first company to reach the $3 trillion market cap two years ago, a little over a year after surpassing the $2 trillion mark in 2020. The great rivalry of these tech giants, which has been going on since 1976, is proven by the fact that Microsoft and Apple have been trading positions as the world’s most valuable company in recent weeks, with Microsoft briefly surpassing Apple in January.
In the past months, Microsoft’s stock has experienced a surge, driven by the company’s active involvement in the AI sector, attracting significant investor attention. The introduction of the Copilot for Microsoft 365 service last year resulted in a noticeable increase in stock price. Microsoft has continued its momentum with frequent AI-related announcements, regularly introducing new features and products.
Over the last five years, Microsoft’s stock price has undergone a substantial transformation, rising from $107 in January 2019 to its current value of around $404. This turnaround contrasts with a period when the stock price remained stagnant during the tenure of former CEO Steve Ballmer. Since taking over nearly a decade ago, CEO Satya Nadella has played a pivotal role, steering the company through acquisitions, including Mojang (creator of Minecraft), LinkedIn, GitHub, and Xamarin, in order to address the absence of a mobile presence with the Windows Phone and the Microsoft Surface Book.
Under Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft has also made strategic acquisitions of various AI companies, investing over $10 billion in OpenAI. These investments have proven successful in positioning AI at the forefront of Microsoft’s software and services, as exemplified by Copilot.
A more comprehensive assessment of this strategy’s financial performance may be available in Microsoft’s Q2 fiscal 2024 earnings report scheduled for next week.