BUSINESS

Amazon Is Now Bigger Than Walmart, At Least According To The Stock Market

07/24/2015 12:41 EDT | Updated 07/24/2015 12:59 EDT

Maybe it was inevitable: Retail’s online giant has just unseated retail’s brick-and-mortar giant on the stock market. Based on market value, Amazon is now bigger than Walmart.

Amazon shares surged more than 15 per cent in overnight trading Thursday night following a better-than-expected quarterly earnings report, sending the online retailer’s value to $259.3 billion U.S. as of noon E.T. Friday. Shares were trading around $554.50 U.S.

Walmart saw its shares fall by about 1 per cent, giving it a market cap of $231.4 billion U.S.

It was a great day for Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, who according to CNBC made $8.05 billion in the stock price surge. Not a bad haul for one night.

Amazon reported after hours Thursday that revenue rose 20 per cent, to $23.3 billion U.S., in the three months ending in June, with $92 million in profit, or 19 cents per share. Analysts had been expected $22.4 billion in revenue and a net loss of 14 cents per share, according to data from Thomson Financial.

The company's shares are up 55 per cent this year so far. The NASDAQ, on which Amazon trades, is up just 8.4 per cent year-to-date.

The soaring share price is a sign that investors are becoming increasingly convinced the future belongs to online retail. But it’s worth noting that the present doesn’t, at least not yet. While Amazon may be larger than Walmart by market value, Walmart’s sales are still five times the size of Amazon’s.

Walmart’s $486 billion U.S. in revenue in 2014 made it the world’s largest company by revenue last year, and its 2.2 million employees (compared to Amazon’s 154,000) make it the third largest employer in the world, behind only the U.S. Department of Defense and China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Walmart reports its own earnings on August 18.

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