- Amazon is now the most valuable company in the world.
- CEO Jeff Bezos’ Amazon shares’ worth gained nearly $28 billion since Dec. 24.
- Amazon’s next earnings report, which will cover the holiday shopping season, should be closely watched by investors in early February.
Microsoft’s return to the top of the heap in terms of the world’s most valuable company turned out to be short-lived. After Microsoft supplanted Apple in November 2018, Amazon pushed past Microsoft on Monday, Jan. 7 with a 3.4 percent surge that took it to nearly $800 billion in market cap, a figure it would continue to build on Tuesday. At close of markets on Jan. 8, the stock was trading at a whopping $1,656.58 a share — giving founder and CEO Jeff Bezos a personal net worth $136.9 billion.
Most Valuable Company, Richest Man Driven by the Same Stock
With both the title of richest man in the world and most valuable company in the world deriving from the same stock — over 95 percent of Bezos’ net worth is tied to his 16 percent stake in the e-commerce giant — one might assume that Amazon’s stock is hitting record highs. However, the truth is that Amazon has glided into the top spot more by limiting losses than by making big gains.
Amazon’s actually down significantly from its peak, shedding nearly 20 percent from its 52-week high of $2,050.50 a share hit on Sept. 4. Since then, the stock has been declining sharply along with most of the rest of the market.
However, the company has also bounced back since hitting a low of $1,307 a share on Christmas Eve. From that point, it’s up 26.7 percent to Tuesday’s close — a jump that means Bezos’ nearly 80 million shares gained $27.6 billion in value — whereas Microsoft has climbed just 9.2 percent from its low on the same day.
Can Amazon and Bezos Stay on Top?
So, despite seeing his fortune lose roughly a fifth of its value since late summer, Jeff Bezos is currently enjoying both “most valuable” titles. However, time will tell if his fortune can remain where it is. With the earnings report that covers the final three months of 2018 slated for an early February release, investors will likely be watching closely to see if Amazon’s results from the all-important holiday season will reflect the continuing growth story that is likely motivating its current growth trend.
And Amazon bears could have reasons for believing the stock is due for another fall. Amazon’s net income numbers remain low — less than a fifth of Microsoft and about one-twentieth of Apple for the last full fiscal year. But, if Amazon can continue to grow revenue at the rapid rate it’s made the norm in recent years, it could mean that the e-commerce giant will stay on top for some time to come.
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