Microsoft shares settled at a record high on Friday, topping a peak that had stood since 1999, after a quarterly earnings report highlighted the company’s success in the growing business of cloud computing.
Topping a peak that stood since 1999, Microsoft shares settled at a record high on Friday after a quarterly earnings report highlighted the company’s success in the growing business of cloud computing.
The Redmond company’s shares settled at $59.66, up 4.2 percent on the day. That edged the old record, adjusted for a stock split, of $59.56 set Dec. 27, 1999.
The gains came as investors reacted to a much stronger-than-expected reading on the company’s financial health released after the stock market close on Thursday.
Microsoft reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 76 cents a share, beating Wall Street expectations for 68 cents a share, in part because of gains in sales of the company’s on-demand computing power and business software.
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Shares of Amazon.com, the leader in selling rented computing power, touched a record high earlier this month.
Both companies’ gains come amid a broad stock-market rally that has pushed major stock indexes to record levels.
The Microsoft of today is not as dominant as the one whose record it surpassed on Friday.
In 1999, Microsoft was the largest company in the world, boasting a market capitalization of $614 billion, and thriving because of its dominance of the fast-growing personal computer market.
Seventeen years later, Microsoft’s market value has been leapfrogged by the technology companies that proved more nimble in the age of the internet and smartphones.
Apple is the world’s most valuable company by market capitalization, at $628 billion on Friday. Google parent Alphabet is valued by the stock market at $554 billion. Microsoft on Friday stood at $462 billion.
Amazon, at $385 billion, and Facebook, at $378 billion, round out an all-technology top five.
On an inflation-adjusted basis, however, Microsoft’s 1999 peak would still hold the top spot. In today’s dollars, the company’s market cap back then reached $889 billion.