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 62.4 billion euros ($75.3 billion) at the close of trading in Frankfurt today, compared with Siemens’s 61.3 billion euros and Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s 59.9 billion euros, data compiled by Bloomberg show. SAP rose as much as 4.2 percent in Frankfurt trading after saying it’s taking market share amid a slowing industry.
Founded 40 years ago, SAP has added 25 percent this year, making the Walldorf-based company the second-best performer on Germany’s benchmark DAX Index. Siemens, founded in 1847 and Europe’s largest industrial company, has lost about 9 percent, while carmaker Volkswagen has added 14 percent.
“SAP has been really fast in occupying the most exciting fields in its industry,” said Mirko Maier, an analyst at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg in Stuttgart, Germany, who has a hold rating on the shares. “Software is becoming ever more important when compared to hardware.”
SAP has added applications for mobile devices, the Hana database software and programs delivered via the Web to its arsenal to help edge out archrival Oracle Corp. (ORCL) Co-Chief Executive Officers Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott have also stepped up the pace of acquisitions to fuel growth, agreeing to acquire Ariba Inc. (ARBA) in May for $4.3 billion.