Microsoft Drives Growth, Apple Takes It Away

11/13/13 9:43AM EST

Microsoft Drives Growth Apple Takes It Away Microsoft Drives Growth, Apple Takes It Away

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has seen its reputation suffer in recent years. The company is not regularly known as a driver of innovation, nor is it known as a driver of shareholder value. Some of that has changed in 2013. As Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to disappoint investors, and the company’s stock continues to perform poorly, Microsoft may be the next driver of stock market growth.

The year so far has been a relatively exciting one for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The company acquired the mobile handset division of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), it’s looking for a new Chief Executive, it’s about to launch its latest games console and it just launched Windows 8.1.

Microsoft driving the market

Microsoft may end 2013 as the biggest driver of growth in the S&P 500. According to a piece that appeared on Businessweek this morning,  the company’s stock has added more than 9.2 points to the index in 2013. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been a 1.6 point drag on the S&P 500. If Microsoft ends the year as the biggest driver of value in the S&P 500 it will end a multi-year streak from Cupertino.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) added the most points to the S&P 500 in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The company also ended 2007 at the top of the pile.  The S&P 500 has gained just less than 350 points for the whole year so far. Each company has added an average of 0.69 points to the index. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is driving growth. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is taking away from it.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the biggest driver of growth in the S&P 500 so far this year. It doesn’t say anything about the company’s products, and it doesn’t say all that much about its business model, but it is a fact that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors will have to come to terms with through the end of the year, assuming that company’s stock doesn’t pick up.

Microsoft going forward

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is in the midst of massive change. The firm is coming to terms with the contemporary mobility of computing, and it is making efforts to ensure that it remains the first choice in enterprise computing despite the changes in the market. 2013 has not seen the company break through any real barriers, but it has seen the company demonstrate an ability to expand cloud services and build a path to future success.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) appears to be in a period of reticence. The company has not released anew product line in more than three years, and investors are worried about the future as a result. If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is going to add value, it needs to add products or services. Margins on the iPhone are not going to stay high forever.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been adding value by adding product lines, mostly on the enterprise side, and keeping margins high. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not done that, and if it is planning new products it’s done little to show the market. There’s little wonder why Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has added more value to the stock market in 2013.

Disclosure: Author represents that he has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article at the time this article was submitted.