Microsoft tops $500 billion for first time in 16 years | Taking Stock

Feb 01, 2017

Microsoft surprised Wall Street with better than expected earnings in its quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2016. The stock market responded by bidding up Microsoft shares. Shares of Microsoft ended trading on Jan. 27 at $65.78.

As of Jan. 20, Microsoft reported 7.7 billion shares – 7,727,529,890, to be exact – in the most recent 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That gives Microsoft a market capitalization of more than $508 billion as of Jan. 27.

Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the value of one share by the number of shares outstanding. Only two companies in the world – Apple and Alphabet – have a larger market capitalization.

This is not the first time that Microsoft has been worth more than $500 billion, but it is the first time in more than 16 years. Microsoft reached a market capitalization of just more than $600 billion at the top of the dot.com boom that led to the dot.com bust. At more than $600 billion, Microsoft was the first company to reach such a lofty value, which has since been exceeded by Apple.

Microsoft’s share price today is actually higher than it was then. The difference is that in early 2000 the company had 10 billion shares of stock – adjusted for stock splits. In the intervening years, Microsoft has re-purchased more than 2 billion shares.

Microsoft is the most valuable company in Washington, and the third most valuable in the world, but it isn’t the only local giant. Amazon.com was worth $397 billion on Jan. 27. That isn’t in the half-trillion-dollar category, but it is enough to maintain fourth place in the world.

Together, Microsoft and Amazon.com make up 70 percent of Washington’s total market capitalization. Led by those two giants, the state’s total combined market capitalization is $1.283 trillion – $1.238 trillion of which is in King County. The rest of the state is worth almost $45 billion, led by Snohomish County, which accounts for more than $28 billion.

Fewer than 15 countries in the world have a larger market capitalization than Washington.

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