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Amazon now fifth largest company by market value

30 July 2016

Amazon has risen in the ranking of publicly-traded US companies by market capitalisation thanks to outstanding results, ending up as the fifth-largest company by market cap after US markets closed yesterday.

In a single day of trading, Amazon shot past Facebook and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, and for a brief moment even beat Exxon Mobil to the No 4 spot.

The oil giant had only a few years ago, been the largest publicly traded company, when oil prices ruled at $100 a barrel. Exxon slipped badly yesterday  as a result of an earnings miss, though, its share price recovered somewhat during the trading day, which helped it hold its market-cap rankings.

Amazon's shares at $758.81 also fell short of the $766 record, but the two are neck and neck with Exxon's valuation on Wall Street at $365.96?billion, while Amazon's worth is $365.77?billion. Apple continues to be the largest publicly-traded company, followed by Google's parent Alphabet, and Microsoft.

According to commentators, though the market-cap ranking of companies in  is dynamic, the success of Amazon in the hierarchy is especially interesting as investors seemed to be bullish on it and its increased ability to deliver profits.

Amazon, which had been awash in losses, revealed its fifth-straight quarter of profits on the strength of its Prime Day and fast-growing cloud business.

Berkshire retreated to seventh-place, which was also briefly surpassed by Facebook in January and Amazon in early July before it bounced back.

According to commentators, the milestones for Facebook and Amazon were symbolic of the rise of tech companies, whose growth had outpaced the old-school brands that Berkshire owned such as the railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe, ice cream outlet Dairy Queen, battery maker Duracell, or insurer Geico.

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