Apple hits $500bn market valuation as stock continues soaring

Apple’s stock market valuation rocketed past the US$500-billion mark in the wake of news that the Cupertino-based tech giant would be unveiling the iPad 3 on 7 March.

Stock in the Cupertino-based tech giant has been on a continual growth trajectory ever since it announced stellar first quarter results.

In fact the price of an individual share in the company recently went past the US$500 mark. This effectively meant that it was cheaper to buy an iPad 2 off the shelf than a single share in Apple.

In going past the US$500-billion valuation, the price of individual shares rose to US$544.17.

It also saw Apple consolidating its position as the world’s most valuable company, widening the gap on oil giant Exxon Mobil.

Going past a US$500-billion valuation is a rare achievement. Only six other US companies have done it in the past. The other tech companies to have done so include Intel, Cisco systems Apple’s arch-rival Microsoft between 1999 and 2000.

The Redmond-based tech giant actually took things one step further and briefly reached a valuation of US$600-billion.

Apple posted quarterly revenue of US$46.33-billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.06-billion. Highlighting its increasing global dominance, the company reported that international sales accounted for 58% of its revenue in the quarter.

The company’s current position is in stark contrast to the position it was in when co-founder Steve Jobs made his return to the company in 1997.

Back then it was on the verge of bankruptcy and it needed at US$150-million investment from arch rival Microsoft to save it.

In fact, Mashable reports that the value Apple stock has grown over 4 000% over the last decade.

A large part of Jobs’ legacy was highly innovative devices he oversaw the development of — most notably the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

It is unsurprising, therefore, that the killer revenues Apple has been pulling in are largely on the back of sales of these devices.

In the first quarter of 2012 it sold 37.04-million iPhones — representing 128% unit growth over the same quarter in 2011, — 15.43-million iPads, and 5.2-million Macs.

Apple also has a pretty healthy hoard of cash — somewhere in the region of US$ 97-billion — and CEO Tim Cook recently told shareholders that the company has more money than it needs and that it would have to think “very deeply” about what to do it.



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