Electronic screens post the price of Alphabet stock, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, reports quarterly earnings Monday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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Alphabet Inc. surpassed Apple Inc. as the most valuable company in the United States in after-hours trading Monday, knocking the iPhone maker from the top spot that it has held for the better part of four years.Alphabet shares jumped 6 percent Monday after reporting strong quarterly earnings after the bell, making its combined share classes worth $554 billion, compared with Apple, which had a value of $534 billion.Alphabet will officially overtake Apple in market value if the two companies' shares open around current levels Tuesday.Alphabet shares are more expensive, relatively speaking, than Apple's, trading around 38 times earnings for the last 12 months, compared to 11 times for Apple. Alphabet pays no dividend, whereas Apple's dividend currently yields 2 percent of the stock's value annually.
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