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This Day In Market History: The Microsoft IPO

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This Day In Market History: The Microsoft IPO
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Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 32 years ago, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) went public.

Where The Market Was

The S&P 500 was trading at 233.19 and the Dow was at 1753.71.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on live TV shortly after takeoff. That same year, the Human Genome Project was launched. A Tandy 600 Portable Computer cost $1,599.

Microsoft IPO

Investors got their first taste of Microsoft back in March 1986 when the company, already a powerhouse in the tech world, raised $61 million in an IPO under the leadership of 30-year-old founder Bill Gates. IPO shares priced at $21 per share, but Microsoft has since had nine different stock splits. Today, each IPO share would be worth 288 shares of stock.

Adjusted for subsequent splits, Microsoft’s IPO price based on today’s share count was only about 7.2 cents per share. The stock had more than quadrupled its IPO price by mid-1987.

During the peak of the Dot Com bubble in 2000, Microsoft’s market cap peaked above $600 billion, making it one of the largest companies in the world. After the bubble burst, it took roughly 17 years for Microsoft to once again reached a $600 billion market cap in 2017.

Today, Microsoft’s $746 billion market cap makes it the fourth largest company on the U.S. public market, trailing only Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

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