A Fool Looks Back

A couple of big ships are passing each other again. When it comes to the country's most valuable company by market cap, ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) overtook Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) by the end of the week.

There wasn't anything that ExxonMobil did. The gas and oil giant merely paddled 0.6% higher with the general market. Its big day comes on Friday, when it pulls into the dock for its latest quarterly report.

As everyone within earshot of the market knows, it was Apple that buckled this week. A sloppy earnings report and an even more ominous near-term outlook spooked investors, sending Apple's stock 12% lower on the week.

As of Friday's close, ExxonMobil is now worth a few billion dollars more than Apple, and that's by market cap. ExxonMobil is worth far more if we go by enterprise value.

The two companies have similar valuations these days. They're both trading for just shy of 10 times trailing earnings. Their yields are even similar. ExxonMobil's yielding 2.5%, and Apple is now at an all-time high of 2.4%.

The irony is that analysts see Apple continuing to grow, while ExxonMobil's expected to continue to post year-over-year declines on the top line.

BUt why crash ExxonMobil's party? Let's just rain on one megacap at a time.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Citigroup analyst Kevin Dennean is slapping Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU  ) with a neutral rating. Don't go away angry. That's actually good news. Wednesday's move was an upgrade from Citi's earlier sell rating.
  • Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) is temporarily suspending its dividend. That's bad news for investors counting on what previously was a nice 5.5% yield. Why is a company with billions in the bank preserving its capital? There'd better not be any sugarcoating this move as a response to the higher 2013 tax rate.
  • Shares of Select Comfort (NASDAQ: SCSS  ) tumbled 18% on Friday. The maker of the Sleep Number adjustable air-chambered mattress missed Wall Street's profit targets and offered up a troubling outlook. I guess investors won't be getting a good night's sleep.

The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for the next year. Find out which stock it is in our brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." I invite you to take a copy, free for a limited time. Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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 January 26, 2013, at 9:38 AM, techy46 wrote:

    Quit worry about who's is the biggest and start worrying about who makes the most. It's better to rmaintain high GPM than to just grow the top line. WS loves to create 20-50% price swings so they can take the $$$ on the downside and the upside. Apple should take $25b and buy Nokia.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2013, at 8:58 PM, lee654 wrote:

    Nokia and Yahoo ! big winners this year.

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