Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) just knocked Apple Inc. (AAPL) off its pedestal as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company. Alphabet Inc smashed expectations bringing in $21.3 billion in revenue and earnings of $8.67 per share. Analysts were expecting earnings of $8.09 on $20.8 billion in revenue.
Apple surpassed Google back in 2010 when each company had a market value of less than $200 million. Google was the more valuable company from the time of its IPO in 2004 until April 2008. Then iPhone madness began. At the time, Apple had yet to release its first iPad, the newest iPhone on the market was the 3GS, and the Mac was the company’s biggest product line, accounting for one-third of revenue. Steve Jobs was still at the helm.
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Google parent Alphabet was set to pass Apple today as the most valuable company in the world. At Monday’s after-hours levels, Alphabet’s market cap would roughly be $570 billion, eclipsing Apple’s current market cap of about $535 billion.
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Google’s core businesses continue to grow as well. Gmail grew to 1 billion active users. That means it has about half a dozen services that have around 1 billion active users, a number most companies (other than perhaps Facebook, which said today that WhatsApp had passed the 1 billion user mark) will envy. (CEO Sundar Pichai didn’t specify if that was daily actives or monthly actives, so we’ll probably assume the latter.)
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Alphabet’s earnings report for the last quarter of 2015 represented the first time the company has broken out its so-called moon-shot ventures, such as Google Fiber and its self-driving car initiative. Those ventures have little or nothing to do with the firm’s core search-advertising business, but they represent some of its biggest bets on the future. Alphabet’s new corporate structure now allows their performances to be judged separately.