Stock price movement has resulted in a new person earning the title of World’s Richest Person. Amazon is scheduled to release its earnings report after closing bell tonight (see consensus estimates and analysis here), and investors are so optimistic about it that they have driven the online retailer’s share price up by more than 2%, boosting the net worth of its founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. The result is that Bezos has become the world’s richest person.
World’s richest person: Jeff Bezos with $90 billion
Most of Jeff Bezos‘ wealth these days is on paper, just like it is with so many of the world’s richest people, because it has come from Amazon’s skyrocketing stock price. CNBC reports that he has actually been a billionaire for over two decades, but just in the last couple of years, his net worth has soared.
It would seem that Amazon’s stock price is pivotal to that because it has also soared in the same time frame, even grabbing a spot in the four tech names that have been most-loved by Wall Street in the last two years: FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google/Alphabet).
Jeff Bezos now worth more than Bill Gates
Bloomberg and Forbes pegged Bezos‘ net worth at more than $89 billion at closing bell last night and Bill Gates’ net worth at a little over $90 billion at the same time. However, investors who are anticipating a strong earnings report from Amazon tonight have boosted the company’s stock price by over $15 per share during the overnight hours.
Bill Gates’ net worth hangs partially on Microsoft’s stock price even today, although today he isn’t nearly as involved with the company he co-founded years ago. While Amazon’s stock climbed overnight, Microsoft shares fell a bit. Bezos owns about 80 million Amazon shares, so if his company’s stock holds up amid the company’s earnings report after the bell tonight, his fortune will increase by more than $800 million. That would make him the world’s richest person as he overtakes Bill Gates in net worth.
However, it also depends on whether the values of their non-stock assets have changed or not.
A more permanent place as the world’s richest person?
The bigger question now is whether Jeff Bezos will still be the world’s richest person tomorrow, and he might not be. Amazon’s stock price tends to be very volatile after it reports earnings, so it all depends on how investors react to that report. If they again express dissatisfaction with the online retailer’s investments in future growth, the company’s stock could tumble.
On the other hand, if it beats estimates by as much as some believe it could, its stock price could soar even further. Amazon shares have been climbing this week, indicating that investors expect a strong beat.
Bezos vs. Gates for the World’s Richest Person title
Microsoft shares could also rally, which could push Bill Gates back into the position of the world’s richest person. But even if Jeff Bezos is no longer the world’s richest person tomorrow, CNBC suggests that he could gain the title on a more permanent basis over the next several days and weeks.
Forbes reports that Bezos is the first man to take the title from Gates in seven years and only the sixth man to be the world’s richest person over the last three decades.