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It’s a three-horse race, and the finish line is drawing closer: Sometime in the not-so-distant future, the world’s first US$1-trillion public company will be crowned.

But will it be Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc. or Apple Inc.?

Apple’s market value is just shy of US$950-billion, as of Tuesday’s close, with Amazon and Alphabet in spitting distance of US$900-billion. On Tuesday alone, Alphabet’s market cap surged more than US$30-billion after it reported earnings that crushed expectations. Expect a further shakeup when Amazon reports Thursday and Apple next week.

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Mike Olson, managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, is among a handful of analysts who covers all three companies. He has an “overweight” rating on each one, and based on his forward 12-month target prices, he expects two will have crossed the trillion-dollar threshold a year from now: Amazon and Apple.

But which gets there first?

“It’s not always the horse in the lead out of the gates that wins the race. But we do think that will be the case here, with Apple likely to hit a trillion dollars first,” Mr. Olson said.

Apple will unveil its newest products in the fall, including new iPhone offerings. “I think that will help to drive potential for unit upside and that should get Apple over the edge” to a trillion-dollar valuation, Mr. Olson said.

That said, he expects Amazon to vault past Apple at some point.

“Amazon operates in a retail market that’s only about 12 per cent shifted online at this point in the U.S.,” Mr. Olson said. “There’s just a long ways to go in a market that is relatively underpenetrated versus the other two, Alphabet and Apple.”

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