By Raaj Datta
Apple stock price has soared to a new high. Apple is now officially the world’s biggest public company. Apple’s value soared to $623 billion on Monday, breaking records of all sorts. It even leapfrogged Microsoft Corp’s market capitalisation record set during the sunny days.
Apple actually became the biggest company last year when it beat now No. 2 Exxon Mobil Corp. Monday’s score just solidifies that position, with 53 percent more than the No. 2 ranked.
According to Standard & Poor’s, Microsoft peaked at $620.58 billion in 1999. The Redmond giant’s current worth is just $257 billion, which is a lot lower than what it was in its glory days.
On a comparison scale, Apple is three times bigger than Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. A comparison with Facebook actually makes Apple 13 times as valuable.
Facebook hit the rock-bottom with its share price as low as $18.75 before it bounced back to $20.01 earlier this week. The IPO debut of Facebook was hit by technical glitches that resulted in several buyer complaints. The social networking giant is yet to recover from the shockwave and so far has been unable to surpass the $38 opening price. The potential still remains strong but without anything solid in its offerings, buyers are still sceptical.
Apple’s growth has been nothing short of remarkable. It grew out of tiny garage in the Silicon Valley in 1976. In the 1990s, things didn’t look bright for the Jobs-less Apple. It was only after Steve Jobs came back to the company he found, Apple started gaining momentum. The last four years, Apple has seen exponential rise of its stock price – from $85.35 in 2008 to $665.15 this Monday.
The ups and downs will continue to worry analysts, because so far none have been spared of the cycle.
What’s behind the swift rise of Apple shares?
The share price of Apple has been on the upswing ever since rumours about the new version of the iPhone plagued the Internet. Shares have jumped in excess of $25 since May. The next generation iPhone, the iPhone 5, is yet to be announced, but the excitement is clearly visible. There are strong speculations that Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 on September 12 and will go on sale later in September.
There are rumours about a new smaller iPad that will take on rival Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The upcoming products will also take on Samsung’s similar offerings with a competitive price-tag. Apple is also rumoured to be in talks with top cable companies about the launch of its new television set that aims to revolutionise the way people currently use a television. The announcement won’t come any soon, but the result is already visible on the stock price.
The 1-trillion mark
The only company to hit the $1-trillion mark was PetroChina, the largest oil company in China. The price was held very briefly after the company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2007. The market capitalisation was, however, never higher than $500 billion.
Apple’s growth prospect is much higher, with an ever-increasing customer base. With the current figures, Apple has the potential to become the world’s first true $1-trillion company.