Apple hits record $700bn valuation

Shares rose to $119 today pushing the tech giant to a valuation no other US company has ever reached

Apple, already the world's largest company by market capitalisation, hit a new record value: $700 billion.

Shares of the iPhone maker rose 0.8 per cent to $119.59 at 9:35 a.m. in New York, giving it a valuation of more than $701 billion, a milestone that no other US company has ever reached.

That puts Apple at 1.7 times the capitalisation of the world's second-biggest company, Exxon Mobil Corp. Exxon, which has lost about $43 billion during the five-month oil rout, has a capitalisation of $405 billion.

Confidence in Apple has been growing since the company unveiled larger-screened iPhones in September, followed by slimmer and faster iPads in October.


Chief executive officer Tim Cook is updating Apple's core products while also pushing users deeper into the company's digital world with the introduction of a mobile payment system called Apple Pay and a smartwatch that's slated for release next year.

"Given Apple's significant portfolio refresh over the past three months, the lack of innovation from competitors and a constructive spending backdrop in the U.S. market, we believe Apple has opportunity to shine bright this holiday season," Brian White, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said Nov. 24 in a note to investors.

Apple has forecast revenue in the current quarter of $63.5 billion to $66.5 billion, compared to $57.6 billion during the October through December period in 2013.

Longest rally

Apple is up 48 per cent this year through yesterday, heading for its sixth straight annual gain. That would be its longest streak ever, topping a five-year rally from 2003 to 2007. Its market capitalisation reached as high as $658 billion in September 2012, before a 44 per cent plunge in the stock price over the next seven months. The Cupertino, California-based company's market cap has exceeded that of Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. since May 2010. Microsoft now has a market capitalisation of $394 billion.