Amazon’s Jeff Bezos beats Bill Gates as world’s richest person briefly after shares surge

The founder Amazon, Jeff Bezos momentarily beat Microsoft Founder Thursday morning as the world’s richest person.

The result was due to a spike in the Amazon.com Inc. shares. This advance of the online retailer’s earnings report briefly propelled to make him top richest person. Shares of the online retailer fell 0.7 percent to $1,046 at 4 p.m. in New York, after surging as high as $1,083.31 four hours earlier, the climb gave Bezos a net worth of $92.3 billion. Gates had a net worth of $90.8 billion as of the Wednesday close.

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Amazon’s share price briefly topped $1,000 in early trading on Tuesday, a symbolic milestone for Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce company. NYT

Bezos remains ranked second on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, behind the Microsoft Corp. co-founder. Gates, 61, has held the top spot since May 2013. Mr. Bezos, 53, owns about 17 percent of Seattle-based Amazon, which had surged 40 percent this year through Wednesday, helping to add $24.5 billion to his net worth. He started 2017 as the world’s fourth-wealthiest person and has since surpassed Warren Buffett and Inditex SA founder Amancio Ortega, 81, who ranks third with $82.7 billion.

Amazon’s second-quarter earnings per share of 40 cents missed the lowest analyst estimate. The median estimate was for $1.42.

Warren Buffett appeared on Forbes’ first ranking of America’s 400 Richest people in 1982 and Bill Gates joined four years later. Jeff Bezos is a newer addition to Forbes’ wealth rankings.

Forbes started tracking and ranking billionaires around the globe in 1987. He first appeared on the Forbes 400 in 1998, a year after Amazon went public, with a $1.6 billion fortune. Bezos ranked third richest in the world on Forbes 2017 list of the World’s Billionaires, published in March, with a fortune of $72.8 billion.