Apple is celebrating its accession to the US$700 billion club — by its lonesome.
The technology behemoth broke ranks with the rest of the pack by becoming the first — and only — company to have hit the magic number.
On Tuesday, Apple’s market capitalisation touched the milestone as strong iPhone sales and anticipation of new products pushed its shares to more than double the point at which Tim Cook took over as chief executive, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.
The momentum behind the iPhone 6 and its growing prospects in China have seen Apple’s stock set several successive all-time highs in recent weeks, after passing the US$100 mark in August.
At an intraday peak share price of US$119.75 in morning trading on Tuesday, the world’s most valuable public had exceeded the market capitalization its nearest rival ExxonMobil by almost $300 billion.
Apple’s stock market worth also stands far ahead of Microsoft and Google, both of which are valued below US$400 billion.
Its shares closed at US$117.61, down 0.86 per cent.
After swinging from above US$100 in September 2012 to a low close to US$55 in April last year, the magnitude of Apple’s rally can be seen from both near and long-term perspectives.
Its stock price has increased tenfold since the iPhone was first announced in January 2007 while it has risen almost 50 per cent so far this year, the report said.
It has gained more than 20 per cent since mid-October when the company released its latest earnings report which surpassed Wall Street forecasts.
Hedge funds have ploughed money back into Apple in recent months, making it their top holding in the third quarter, according to a recent study by Goldman Sachs, the report said.
The US$700 billion mark is the highest for any US company in nominal terms, although Apple still lags Microsoft’s inflation-adjusted 1999 peak of $874 billion.
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