Microsoft's stock has gone past Exxon Mobil to help it become the second most valuable company in the world. Microsoft is now ranked second in the list of the world’s most valuable companies with a total market value of $410 billion. Apple still tops this list with a market value of $668 billion.
Microsoft stock has risen almost 70 percent since April 2013. After Steve Ballmer's retirement this year, the company has revealed plans to expand its cloud computing presence under the new CEO Satya Nadella. Microsoft is also redesigning its smartphones, its software and its services altogether to make them more compelling.
"Microsoft has made a strategic change," said Daniel Ives, a tech analyst at FBR Capital Markets. He said Nadella still faces challenges with a company that's heavily reliant on the declining personal computer market. But compared with other longtime tech stalwarts, such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, "Microsoft has done the best job of trying to skate where the puck is going," Ives said.
With Microsoft acquiring Nokia and rebranding it as Lumia and with the imminent launch of Windows 10, Microsoft stocks have the potential to still climb higher.