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Apple loses crown as most valuable company

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NEW YORK, Jan 25 AFP

January 26 2013, 05:05AM

Apple shares have extended their losses, as the California tech giant lost its position as the world's biggest company based on market value.

In midday trade on Wall Street, Apple shares were down 2.37 per cent at $US439.82, giving it a market capitalisation of $412 billion. Oil giant ExxonMobil meanwhile rose 0.26 per cent to $91.60 with a market cap of $417 billion.

In August 2011, Apple first overtook ExxonMobil as the most valuable company in the world based on the value of its stock.

A year later, Apple dethroned longtime rival Microsoft as the most valuable company in history based on the value of its stock at $622 billion.

Apple took a bruising this week after a gloomy forecast accompanying its record quarterly profits prompted pessimism over the tech giant's slowing growth trajectory.

Apple on Wednesday announced a profit of $US13.1 billion ($A12.58 billion) on revenue of $54.5 billion in the fiscal quarter that ended on December 29, with sales of iPhones and iPads setting quarterly highs.

But despite those figures, investors soured on Apple after it forecast that revenue for the current quarter would range from $41-43 billion and that it would have a gross margin of 37.5 to 39.5 per cent.