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Google Edges Ahead of Microsoft in Market Cap

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) may have overtaken Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) in market cap in 2010, but now it's Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) turn. The search giant has now narrowly edged past the software maker, with both sitting just under $250 billion. After passing Microsoft two years ago, Apple has continued to march higher unabated.

GOOG Market Cap Chart

GOOG Market Cap data by YCharts.

Among those three heavyweights, Apple leads in the market cap category by far, and Google's recent rally to fresh all-time highs has allowed it to pass Microsoft by. But if you were to look at other fundamental metrics, the differences among them stand out.


Revenue (TTM)

Net Income (TTM)

Net Margin (TTM)

Sales Growth (TTM)


$148.8 billion

$40.1 billion




$43.2 billion

$11.1 billion




$73.7 billion

$17 billion



Sources: Morningstar and Reuters. TTM = trailing 12 months.

While Microsoft boasts higher sales and profits than Google, even after its embarrassing $6.2 billion writedown and net loss last quarter for trying to compete in online advertising, Google can now brag about its higher valuation thanks to its promising growth prospects.

Microsoft is hoping that Windows 8 will reinvigorate sluggish PC sales and its Windows and Windows Live division along with it, but Google's continued dominance of search advertising continues to pay off nicely. Microsoft's online services division remains highly unprofitable. Last quarter was a whopper due to the goodwill impairment, but excluding the most recent one, Microsoft has lost an average of nearly $600 million per quarter over the past three years.

Speaking of unprofitable divisions, remember that Google's new Motorola subsidiary was losing money long before Big G swallowed it. The handset maker lost $233 million of the search giant's dollars last quarter alone, only giving back a fraction of the $3.4 billion in operating income Google itself generated.

With the cloud and mobile set to lead the future of computing, Google looks to be in a much better position, while Microsoft's mobile future is far from certain.

Microsoft's market cap may have stagnated, but it still has some very profitable divisions along with the unspiring ones. Fool analyst Charly Travers breaks down the rest of Microsoft's core businesses in this new premium report. Click here to grab your copy today and receive free updates for a year.


Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2012, at 8:17 PM, lakawak wrote:

    A good word of advice....this is why you don't bother with articles like this. Microsoft has again worth more.

    Then again, it is a moot point. Google's stock price is much more of a bubble.

    I would love to see Microsoft cannibalize their own advertising just to DESTROY Google. All they would have to do would be to force an IE upgrade on all users, and have the new version (wouldn't even have to be IE 10...just an update) include an ad blocker that is turned on by default. They'd hurt themselves, sure...but Microsoft doesn't survive on their advertising money. Google would see their ad revenue fall by pretty much 50% overnight.

    The bonus is, it would also take out a lot of crappy blog sites

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