Amazon founder Jeff Bezos seemed poised to capture the title of the world’s richest person, hurtling past Microsoft counterpart Bill Gates, as the value of his stake in the online retailer surged after an upbeat earnings report.
Shares of both Amazon and Microsoft soared toward record highs on Friday, bolstered by strong quarterly financial results that had Wall Street analysts scrambling to revise their already sunny forecasts for the technology giants.
Amazon’s stock jumped 13.22 percent, to close at $1,100.95 Friday. That made Microsoft’s healthy gain – 5.5 percent, to $83.81 a share – look meager by comparison. It also made Bezos the world’s richest man, by Bloomberg News calculations, a title he had briefly held earlier this year when Amazon shares crested above $1,000 a share in July.
Bloomberg valued Bezos’s fortune at $93.8 billion Friday, after a gain of more than $28.5 billion this year tied to his stake of about 16 percent in Amazon. Gates, worth $88 billion, has seen his wealth grow in 2017 even after a donation of $4.6 billion to the foundation that bears his name.
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Investors are betting that the company’s dominant position in U.S. online retail, and its track record of winning new markets, means Amazon could reap greater rewards later.
Bezos, 53, graduated for Miami’s Palmetto Senior HIgh in 1982.