Amazon becomes second company to hit $1trn market value after Apple

Amazon reaches the milestone on the back of a 75% leap in its share price this year as years of investment start to pay off.

Amazon has become the second company listed in the US to achieve a market value of $1trn (£779.3bn).

Its stock surged during morning trading on the Nasdaq, reaching the milestone when the price hit $2,050.50 per share.

The company began the day needing just over $18bn worth of net value to reach $1trn – a month after Apple won the race to be the first company with such a market capitalisation.

It crossed the line at 4.40pm on Wednesday UK time before falling back slightly.

US tech stocks have largely enjoyed years of gains – with a few wobbles along the way over fears they were over-priced.

Amazon, founded by its chief executive Jeff Bezos, started life in 1994 as a bookseller before expanding to become the world’s largest internet retailer.

Investors were for years frustrated by profits being ploughed back into the funding of Amazon’s growth and diversification from online retail.

But the widening of its horizons mean the company’s interests now also include cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the streaming of entertainment.

It currently employs more than 500,000 staff.

In the past quarter, Amazon posted record profits of $2.5bn while its share price growth – up 75% in the year to date – has helped propel Mr Bezos to the top spot in the Forbes billionaire list with a paper wealth of $112bn at last count.

The surge in its market value has been largely put down to expectations that earnings – up 12-fold between March and June on the same period a year ago – will continue to expand.

Some market analysts believe its e-commerce operations will soon account for 5% of all retail spending in the United States.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said: “To reach a market capitalisation of over $1trn is impressive. To do it in a little over 24 years is extraordinary.

“That Amazon has achieved this demonstrates its dramatic advancement in both the retail and technology sectors, as well as the influence it now wields over large parts of the consumer landscape.

“In our view, the valuation also reflects the forward potential of the company.

“Despite its size and scale, there is still something young about Amazon. It might be mature in a sector like books and media, but in categories like grocery and home furnishings, Amazon is really only just getting started. The same applies to geographic expansion – there are many global pockets of demand that Amazon has yet to fully tap into.”

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