Exxon Mobil overtakes Apple in market value

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Exxon Mobil on Friday reclaimed its place as the largest United States (US) publicly-traded company by market value roughly one year after losing it to Apple Inc as shares of the tech giant extended their fall.

Apple's market capitalization has fallen by about US$250 billion (S$307 billion) - roughly the market value of Google Inc - since hitting a high last September, when the stock traded above $700.

Apple shares traded down 2.7 percent on the day near $438, for a market value of roughly $411.4 billion. Exxon shares, up 0.3 percent on the day at $91.59, added to a market value of about $417.6 billion.

Apple "was clearly a momentum stock. Whenever the numbers behind momentum stocks stop, the momentum players are out and the stock tumbles", said Ms Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst, Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

Apple shares slid 12.4 per cent on Thursday - their biggest percentage drop since late September 2008 - as disappointing holiday-period iPhone sales reinforced fears it is losing its dominance in smartphones.

The company, however, shipped a record 47.8 million iPhones in the December quarter, up 29 per cent from a year earlier. But that lagged the 50 million that analysts on average had projected.

"They make great products, expensive products, but as a value investor I'm interested in the unloved stocks, just not the recently-unloved ones," Ms Forrest said.

Apple has closed the day as the largest company by market capitalisation since the last Friday in January 2012, when it passed Exxon.