Microsoft's market value exceeds $500 billion for the first time since 2000

Microsoft has crossed the $500 billion mark in terms of market value after having last attained it nearly 17 years ago. The company beat Wall Street's expectations again for seven out of the last eight quarters owing to strong growth in cloud services and Office.

Previously, the Redmond company had reached the milestone back in March 2000 with a market cap of over $550 billion when the Internet was still evolving from its early stages. As it stands now, the market cap for the company stands at $510 billion with shares at an all-time high of $65.78, representing a growth of 2.1%.

This growth can be attributed to Satya Nadella, who took over the reins of the company in 2014 when its market capitalization was $315 billion. His "cloud first, mobile first" vision became a mantra for a reinvigorated Microsoft. While he has been criticized for his handling of the phone division, almost every other aspect of the company has witnessed growth with cloud leading from the front. The Surface line, brainchild of former CEO Steve Ballmer, really came into its own under Nadella and made the company exciting again. The company's acquisition of LinkedIn also took place under Nadella's watch, which led an analyst to predict that the firm "will be the first ever trillion dollar company".

Further bolstering Microsoft's recent performance, RBC Capital Markets analysts wrote:

"The pieces are falling into place as we are starting to see an important shift in the model, with improving profitability in growth segments."

The corporation still lags its rivals in market cap - Apple ($642 billion) and Alphabet ($570), but it's a bright outlook nonetheless with 27 of the 37 analysts covering the stock rating it "buy" or higher, two rating it "strong sell", while eight had a "hold" rating.

Source: Reuters

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