Apple Overtakes Microsoft

by: Bespoke Investment Group

Back in February 1997, Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced a company reorganization combining many of its units and changing management. The market's reaction to the move was decidedly negative, and the stock fell to under $4 per share. Sentiment to the news was pretty much summed up by a Merrill Lynch analyst who compared the move to "rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic."

Well, it looks like the Titanic made it! On Wednesday, AAPL overtook Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in market cap and is now the second largest company in the United States behind Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM). If someone had told you in March 2000 that AAPL would be a bigger company than MSFT in 2010, you would have questioned their sanity. Then again, who would have thought the Nasdaq would be 56% lower today than it was then?