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3/18/2010
09:29 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Top 25 Highest-Value Tech Firms On Nasdaq

The Nasdaq's five biggest market caps belong to (listed alphabetically) Apple, Cisco, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle. The market caps for the top five are, in descending order, $259.9 billion, $203.2 billion, $179.8 billion, $150.4 billion, and $127.6 billion. Try to match the each of those top five companies with its market cap--and you might well be in for a surprise.

The Nasdaq's five biggest market caps belong to (listed alphabetically) Apple, Cisco, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle. The market caps for the top five are, in descending order, $259.9 billion, $203.2 billion, $179.8 billion, $150.4 billion, and $127.6 billion. Try to match the each of those top five companies with its market cap--and you might well be in for a surprise.So who tops the list? Surely that would be either Google, with its stratospheric stock price and heavenly growth rates, or Apple, with its golden global touch?

Those guesses are good but incorrect. No, the big dog in market cap on the Nasdaq is (wait for it) Microsoft! Based on March 17 prices, Microsoft's overall valuation is almost 30% higher than Apple's, almost 50% higher than Google's, almost 60% higher than Cisco's, and almost 100% higher than Oracle's. (The market caps and rankings come from this very interesting analysis by David Hunkar on SeekingAlpha.com.)

If it's true that stock prices-and therefore market caps-are more a reflection of future prospects rather than past performance, then these stunning numbers for Microsoft would indicate that a lot of investors think there's still a whole lot of growth still to come for company, which is racing to become a leader in the cloud with Azure, a player in search with Bing, and a force in mobile with Windows Phone 7.

Here are the top 10 companies ranked by market cap (in billions) along with a few other familiar names from the top 25 plus their rankings. For the full list, click here.

1. Microsoft $259.90

2. Apple $203.20

3. Google $179.80

4. Cisco $150.40

5. Oracle $127.60

6. Intel $122.80

7. Vodafone $119.80

8. Qualcomm $65.40

9. Amazon $58.40

10. Amgen $56.20

*****

14. RIM (Blackberry) $41.40

17. eBay $35.00

18. Infosys $34.90

22. Dell $28.50

So hats off to Microsoft, which we've written about in detail in two recent columns that might be of interest: An Open Letter To Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and Ballmer's Cloud Commitment Makes Microsoft Relevant Again.

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