Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Apple joins rare company, as company's valuation now above $500B

Apple closed at $542.44, up $7.03‎ on Wednesday, putting the value of the company above $500 billion, at $505.75 billion. Apple is currently the world's most valuable company by market capitalization.

Although Apple isn't the first company to surpass $500 billion in market cap, it's currently $90 billion ahead of the No. 2 company in value, Exxon Mobil. Five other companies have eclipsed $500 billion in value.

For one, that current second highest valued company, Exxon Mobil, which is now currently worth $411 billion, was worth just over $500 billion for two short periods at the end of 2007.

Apple's arch-rival Microsoft was worth slightly more than $500 billion briefly at the end of 1999, and again in early 2000. In fact, for one brief day the company even surpassed $600 billion in value. However, Microsoft is now worth barely more than half Apple's value, at $267 billion.

Microsoft and Apple's other arch-rival Google together aren't as valuable as Apple. Google is currently valued at $201.01 billion.

Others who breached the $500 billion barrier include Cisco Systems, Intel, and General Electric, which also peaked just above $500 billion in early 2000, during the dotcom heydey.

Cisco and Intel are now slightly more than $100 billion each, and GE is worth $200 billion.

Apple has scheduled a media event for March 7, where it is believed the company will unveil the latest version of its tablet, the iPad 3. While that, its current products, and its dominance in music are helping its stock continue to rise, there is another reason: the company is currently sitting on a pile of $97.6 billion in cash.

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