Friday, May 24, 2024

Microsoft’s CEO: ‘We’re Still the Most Profitable’

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If Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is upset that Apple beat his own company in net market value on Wednesday, he hasn’t shown it — at least if reports of his comments and behavior during a visit to India this week are any indication.

According to published reports, Ballmer told media during a visit to New Delhi that he is not worried about Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) market position.

The market capitalization of Microsoft’sstock closed below that of Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) for the first time ever on Wednesday.

Microsoft’s stock closed Wednesday with a price of $25.01 per share, bringing its total market capitalization at the end of the trading day to $219.18 billion. However, Apple’s stock closed at a price per share of $244.11. That brought its market cap to $222.12 billion, according to figures from Thomson Financial.

“I will make more profit and certainly there is no technology company on the planet that is as profitable as we are,” Ballmer reportedly told the gathered press in New Delhi.

“I am still pleased that 94 times out of a 100 somebody picks a Windows PC,” he added, referring to Microsoft’s share of the PC market versus Apple’s via its Macintosh line.

Apple held onto its market position vis-a-vis Microsoft on Thursday. At the markets’ close, Apple’s stock price was $253.35 and its market cap was $230.53 billion. In contrast, Microsoft’s closing share price was $26 and its market cap was $227.86 billion.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil, the firm with the highest capitalization on U.S. exchanges, closed Thursday at $61.46 per share. Its market capitalization was $288.74 billion.

Analysts said that Microsoft’s shakeup of its games and devices organization — known as the Entertainment and Devices Division— on Tuesday played a role, if a small one, in the shifting tides of market capitalization for the software giant. That division is responsible for the Xbox 360 game console, electronic games, the Zune music player, and the company’s various smartphone initiatives, which are under heavy pressure from the iPhone and other mobile phone operating systems. The division is also on target to deliver the “Project Natal” 3D games controller for the Xbox this fall.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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