Published Tuesday, 21 August 2012
By Clayton Vallabhan
Apple is now officially the most valuable company in the world. Shares listed on Nasdaq, flew past the $660 mark during trading yesterday, and are at $665.15 at the time of writing.
This boosted the tech giant's market capitalisation to $623.52 billion, which means Apple is now worth nearly $200bn more than the world's second largest company, Exxon Mobil. The oil giant is currently worth $405.97 billion as per FactSet.
Microsoft had set a record at the height of the dot.com bubble in December 1999, when its market capitalisation hit $621 billion. When adjusted for inflation, this value would be somewhere in the range of $853 billion. The company is now valued at $257 billion, a fraction of its former worth.
Eight years ago Apple was worth $10 billion; three years ago that figure rose to $100 billion. Now its stock has risen almost 60 % this year alone. Analysts say that Apple's iPhone revenues itself generate more than Microsoft itself, and Apple is worth more than Microsoft and Google combined.
Some analysts purport apple shares to reach a target price of $900 per share, and a market capitalisation of $1 trillion. Other analysts feel that the death of Steve Jobs last year will be detrimental to the company's innovation, and Apple's current CEO Tim Cook may not be able to continue the legacy of his predecessor.
Hints of Apple's dive into stagnation came from Van Baker, vice president of Gartner Research, who said: "All the products made under Tim Cook's tenure have been tweaks to existing products. One of the companies' big successes, the iPod line, is in decline and they are going to have to replace that."
The tech giant is rumoured to be planning to get into the television market by producing a set-top box along with a cable TV company. Baker however, thinks that this might be a perilous move, especially since margins are low and content producers may be weary of joint-ventures that may eat into their revenues.
For now though, Apple can revel in its glory.