Alphabet overtakes Apple as the world’s largest company

San Francisco: Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc overtook Apple as the world’s largest company as Alphabet’s advertising business propelled the company to a strong last three months of 2015, outpacing expectations and sending the stock up in after-hours trading.

According to reports, the advertising revenue of the technology giant climbed 17 percent. Earnings per share rose from $6.76 the previous year.

Total sales rose 18 percent from the previous year.

Based on that after-hours bump, Alphabet's market value stood at $555 billion while Apple's was at $533 billion, based on the most recent regulatory filings showing the company's outstanding shares. The rankings could quickly change again in regular trading Tuesday.

Apple's stock has been sliding amid concerns over slowing iPhone sales. Meanwhile, Alphabet's stock has surged by 45 percent since the end of 2014 when it was still trading under Google's name.

The fourth-quarter report marks the first time Alphabet has spelled out the costs of running still-experimental businesses that are trying to do everything from eliminating human drivers to curing cancer.

News24 Bureau