Shortly after noon today, oil & gas supermajor Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) re-captured its position as the most valuable company in the world. Exxon's market cap now totals $416.54 billion.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has fallen to second place with a market cap of $416.44 billion.
The two companies' positions are likely to see-saw back and forth for the rest of the day. While the top ranking is essentially meaningless, there's still a psychic power mixed in with being number 1.
Based on what the two companies actually do, there's really no comparison. Exxon's value is heavily tied to the amount of oil and gas it sits on and its ability to get it out of the ground at the right price and the right time. Value is rightly measured in years or even decades for companies like Exxon.
Apple's value comes from being an innovator and thought leader. That is much more difficult ground to defend. A storehouse of good ideas is only valuable depending on the company's ability to turn those ideas into unique and compelling products that command a premium price.
It's much easier to knock-off a smartphone than it is an oil reservoir thousands of feet underground. Exxon can sit on its assets and those assets will only get more valuable. Apple can't do that. It must re-create itself virtually every day.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Commodities, Consumer Electronics, Large Cap Stocks, Oil & Gas, PC Companies Tagged: AAPL, XOM