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SAP AG (SAP), the largest maker of business-management software, toppled Siemens AG (SIE) to become the most valuable publicly traded German company, overtaking the 164-year-old engineering giant for the first time.
SAP’s valuation reached as high as 62.8 billion euros ($76 billion) today, topping Siemens’s 61.8 billion and Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s 60.8 billion euros, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. SAP rose as much as 4.2 percent in Frankfurt trading after saying it’s taking market share amid a slowing industry.
SAP, founded 40 years ago and based in Walldorf, has added 26 percent this year, making it the second-best performer on Germany’s benchmark DAX Index. Shares of Siemens, Europe’s largest industrial company which was founded in 1847, have lost 8.7 percent, while carmaker Volkswagen has added 15 percent.
“We are now taking very strong market share” with second- quarter sales growth exceeding 10 percent in “flat markets,” SAP Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Hagemann Snabe said today in a Bloomberg Television interview. “While the worries are there about the euro, companies are still investing, and software is one the areas they invest in to manage this new area of uncertainty.”
Siemens cut its full-year forecast in April after its transmission unit booked charges for delays in hooking up marine wind farms to the electricity grid. Chief Financial Officer Joe Kaeser said last month that there will be a “rocky road” to meeting the new targets.
Still, Siemens’s revenue dwarfs SAP’s. The Munich-based engineering company had sales of 73.5 billion euros in its latest fiscal year, compared with SAP’s 14.2 billion euros. SAP shares trade at 16.6 times estimated earnings, while for Siemens that ratio is 10.9, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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