August 3, 2018 / 6:02 PM / a year ago

GRAPHIC-Race is on for second place after Apple's $1 trillion valuation

    By Noel Randewich
    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Amazon, Microsoft
 and Alphabet are locked in a tight race to
become the second publicly-listed U.S. company to reach a $1
trillion stock market value after Apple became the
first to touch the 13-digit milestone.
    Wall Street's optimism about last year's 10th anniversary
iPhone, coupled with record share buybacks, have propelled
Apple's stock 34 percent higher over the past 12 months, pushing
the company's stock market value above $1 trillion on Thursday.

    The Cupertino, California company's shares added another 0.4
percent on Friday, putting its market capitalization at $1.005
    Apple's 12-month gain is far better than the S&P 500's 14
percent increase over the past year, but it pales beside
Amazon's astounding 85 percent surge, propelled by the online
retailer's scorchingly fast revenue and profit growth.
    Amazon is now the second-largest publicly-listed U.S.
company, with a market capitalization of $890 billion, followed
closely by Alphabet and Microsoft, at $852 billion and $824
billion respectively.
    Google-owner Alphabet's stock has risen 31 percent over the
past 12 months, and is up 17 percent in 2018. 
    Together with Facebook, the five largest U.S.
companies account for 15 percent of the S&P 500.    
    Synovus Trust portfolio manager Dan Morgan said he owns
shares of Amazon mostly because of its dominance of the cloud
computing industry, a business that grew 42 percent in the June
quarter and provided most of Amazon's operating profits.

   "Of the three companies, I'd say Amazon will get to $1
trillion next," Morgan said.
    Average analyst price targets put Apple's stock market value
at $1.05 trillion, Amazon at $1.02 trillion, Alphabet at $970
billion and Microsoft at $953 billion, according to Thomson
Reuters data.
    To be sure, past stock gains are not a reliable predictor of
future performance, and the surge in Amazon shares in recent
years has been exceptional by most standards. But Amazon's
market capitalization would overtake Apple's later in 2018 if
both companies shares were to continue their 12-month growth
 (Reporting by Noel Randewich, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
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