updated 10:10 am EDT, Fri September 30, 2011
IBM passes Microsoft for 2nd in value, Apple tops
The close of the stock market Thursday saw IBM overtake Microsoft to become the second most valuable technology company. IBM's climb to $214 billion in its stock market cap was just enough to counter a Microsoft decline to $213.2 billion, pushing Microsoft down to third. Apple was still the largest, even with recent sell-offs, and had a much larger $362.1 billion cap.
The figure doesn't include pure revenue or profits. IBM as a primarily services and server-focused company may still have the high profit margins of a company like Microsoft. Apple currently outperforms Microsoft in profit and revenue in addition to the pure stock value.
IBM has been one of the quieter successes in technology for the past several years. The early pioneer lost a significant amount of its identity in the home when it sold its PC business to Lenovo in 2005, but it has been quick to adapt to cloud services and the heavy-duty servers they need to run smoothly.
Microsoft, in the meantime, has been hurt mostly by its dependency on the traditional PC business. It so far has yet to break out in the smartphone market with Windows Phone and has a much smaller stake in tablets, where the iPad and even Android are considerably larger. Apple's iPad has helped fuel two quarters of rare declines in Microsoft's Windows revenue this year, and Microsoft's well-received Windows 8 tablet interface won't be ready until mid-2012. [via Bloomberg]