[SEATTLE] Amazon.com Inc surpassed Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as the world's biggest retailer by market value after a surprise second-quarter profit sent the e-commerce company's stock into record territory.
Amazon shares rose 9.8 per cent to US$529.42 on Friday, giving the Seattle-based company a value of US$247.6 billion. That compares with Wal-Mart's US$230.5 billion market capitalisation.
Wal-Mart still dwarfs Amazon in terms of sales, with about five times its annual revenue. But Amazon has solidified its dominance in e-commerce, forcing its big-box rival to play catch-up. Wal-Mart is investing heavily in its Web operations and developing its own online subscription service to compete with Amazon Prime.
Amazon's market value has been steadily gaining on Wal- Mart's this year. Amazon was already up 55 per cent in 2015 through Thursday's close, while Wal-Mart has slid 16 per cent.
Amazon posted revenue of US$23.2 billion last quarter, a 20 per cent gain. That topped analysts' average projection of US$22.4 billion. Net income was US$92 million, or 19 cents a share, the company said. Analysts had estimated a loss of 14 cents.