An unexpectedly strong earnings report this week pushed Amazon upward in Wall Street’s market-capitalization rankings Friday, placing it ahead of Facebook and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and almost even with energy giant Exxon Mobil.

Share story

Stellar results pushed Amazon.com up a couple of rungs in the ranking of biggest publicly traded companies by market capitalization, making it the fifth-largest player after the stock market closed Friday.

In a single day of trading, Amazon left Facebook and Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s conglomerate, in the dust.

For a brief moment the Seattle tech and retail behemoth even surpassed energy titan Exxon Mobil to hold the No. 4 spot.

Largest companies

Ranked by market capitalization (in billions), July 29

1. Apple, $569.11

2. Alphabet, $538.95

3. Microsoft, $445.69

4. Exxon Mobil, $365.96

5. Amazon.com, $365.77

6. Facebook, $359.28

7. Berkshire Hathaway, $355.61

The famed oil giant was the largest publicly traded company a few years ago, when oil prices topped $100 a barrel. Exxon had a bad day Friday as a result of an earnings miss, but its share price recovered somewhat during the trading day, allowing it to reclaim its place in the market-cap rankings.

Amazon’s shares also settled shy of their $766 record, at $758.81. In any case, the two are close: Exxon is valued by Wall Street at $365.96 billion, while Amazon’s worth is $365.77 billion. Apple remains the largest publicly traded company, followed by Alphabet and Microsoft.

The position that companies occupy among the most-valued firms changes all the time, along with their fortunes, those of their competitors, and the uncontrollable tides that sweep the economy. It’s also meaningless in the day-to-day tasks of running these mammoth corporations.

But Amazon’s sudden progress in this hierarchy is interesting because it shows how investors are keener on the company as its business and its ability to consistently turn a buck on it have increased.

After all, on Thursday Amazon posted its fifth consecutive quarterly profit — a feat not unnoticed by investors who had in the past often been surprised by unexpected losses.