Apple Moves Past Microsoft To Become Biggest Stock Ever

Apple Logo - BlueEarlier today, Apple moved past Microsoft to become the most valuable stock that has EVER traded.

Prior to today, Microsoft held the record for being the most valuable stock to ever trade, as they posted a market cap of $618.9 billion on December 30th, 1999. (note: Microsoft now has a market capitalization of $257.75 billion).

Apple will soon be releasing the iPhone 5, and the anticipation has helped to propel the stock higher over the past couple of months. Apple is currently trading at $661.26 per share, which gives the company a total valuation of $620.53 billion.

Roughly one year ago (August 10th, 2011 to be exact), Apple passed Exxon Mobil to become the world's most valuable company. At the time, Apple and Exxon Mobil were both valued at roughly $352 billion.

Let's look at the value of the two companies today:

Apple - $618.9 billion
Exxon Mobil - $405.46 billion

This means that, just over the past year, Apple has added over $250 billion in total market capitalization. To put this into perspective, McDonald's, Nike and Disney COMBINED are worth less than $250 billion.

Another number that may boggle your mind - during the last week of 2008, Apple was valued at just $84 billion. So, in less than four years, Apple has added over $500 BILLION in total market capitalization. That's an incredible statistic. It's quite incredible that you could buy Apple for just $90 per share back at the end of 2008.


The funny thing about Apple is that they have continued to have critics panning their products nearly every step of the way.

There were numerous critics who panned the iPod, iPhone and iPad, but every one of these products has sold tens of millions of units, if not hundreds of millions. Apple, for instance, had sold over 218 million iPhones as of the first quarter of 2012.

The company has built themselves a FIERCELY loyal following, especially over the past 5-6 years. Many people make the switch from PC to MAC, but not that many people switch back. People who make the switch to the MAC usually find themselves owning multiple Apple products within a year.

On top of all of that, Apple has changed the music industry forever with their iTunes music, book, app and movie distribution platform. As of June, 2011, 15 billion songs, 130 million books and 14 billion apps had been downloaded from the iTunes store. Even more importantly - Apple now has 250 million+ credit card accounts listed with iTunes.


The question now is - will Apple become the world's first trillion dollar company, and if so, when?


Note: Microsoft reached an intraday high of $119.94 on December 30th, 1999. The company had over 5 billion shares outstanding at the time, which gave Microsoft a total valuation of $618.9 billion. Adjusting for inflation, this means that Microsoft had a market cap of approximately $850 billion. So, while Apple now holds the record for largest ever market cap in nominal dollars, Microsoft still holds the record in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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