Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos surpassed Bill Gates as the world’s richest person on Thursday — at least for a few hours.
Shares of the online retailer had surged as U.S. markets opened, and climbed as much as 2.9 percent just before noon in New York, giving Bezos a net worth of $92.3 billion. Then, with investors bracing for the Seattle-based company to report second-quarter results after the close, the shares tumbled. Amazon fell 0.7 percent on the day, leaving Bezos with $89.3 billion and keeping him in second place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates, the 61-year-old Microsoft Corp. co-founder, has held the top ranking since May 2013.
Amazon dropped further in extended trading, sliding 1.9 percent to $1,026 at 4:37 p.m. in New York, after reporting earnings that missed estimates and forecasting a possible operating loss for the third quarter.
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Bezos, 53, owns about 17 percent of Seattle-based Amazon, which has surged 39 percent this year, helping to add $23.9 billion to his net worth. He started 2017 as the world’s fourth-wealthiest person and has since surpassed Inditex SA founder Amancio Ortega, 81, who ranks third, and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett, 86.