Worries surrounding coronavirus have led to a general decline in the stock market, with Google, Amazon, Apple, and other big tech companies taking a major hit. The resultant fallout has left Microsoft as the only US company worth over a trillion dollars.
When markets closed last night, Microsoft’s closest competitor, Apple, was sitting at $981.7 billion versus its $1.034 billion. Amazon was at $947.2 billion, and Alphabet at $725.3. Microsoft first passed its $1 trillion milestone in April 2019, after Apple, Amazon, and Google, but in this case, it’s had the most staying power.
However, despite the metric, it was still hit by the pandemic. Despite its efforts to help out with the virus, scared investors have resulted in a drop from a peak share of $188.70 in February to $144.45 today. On Sunday, Forbes reported that its stock had dropped by a “staggering” 27%, versus a 32% fall in the S&P 500 as a whole.
Comparatively, Apple was at $327.70 in February and now sits at $241, a 26.46% fall in price. Microsoft has the advantage of being a largely software-based company that doesn’t have to worry about supply slowdowns in China, but Apple’s recent reveal of a new iPad has helped matters somewhat, with a boost of 7.4% just today.
All of the major tech companies are doing their part to be helpful during the pandemic, but Microsoft appears to have gone the extra mile. It’s giving enterprise Microsoft Teams features away for free, is part of a White House consortium, and is providing software to the UK’s NHS for free. More importantly for some, it will continue to pay its hourly workers their usual rate, while Apple requires a doctor’s note of Covid-19 confirmation before employees can get unlimited sick leave.
Ultimately, being the only company above 1 trillion is a meaningless accolade, and companies are already starting to bounce back. At the time of writing, Apple has passed the one trillion threshold once more, and others have seen gains. However, it’s clear that Microsoft’s strong productivity focus means there are very few scenarios where its services aren’t needed.