Apple surpasses Microsoft as richest company ever in US

Stock-market value exceeds that of MS high water mark in 1999

Apple has surpassed Microsoft as the richest company ever in North America, rated by stock-market value.

Microsoft's value in December 1999 was a healthy $616.34 billion, but Apple closed last night with a value of $623.52 billion the highest ever recoded by the NYSE - although it still lags behind the Redmond giant's total once it's adjusted for inflation. Currently, the second highest valued company in the US is Exxon Mobil at $405.97 billion, reports the NASDAQ website.

Apple's share price has already rocketed by an incredible 64 per cent this year alone, with some analysts predicting that it could pile on as much as another fifty per cent, taking stock beyond the $1000 a share mark.

Whilst that incredible ascent will be checked at some point, investors are confident that it won't be happening any time soon.

"As with any technology investment, and you can go back through history, it's very hard for any company to continue to stay on top," said Villere and Co.'s St. Denis Villere III.

"Technology is one sector you have to watch very carefully. But they have more than enough going for them at Apple that you don't want to get off the train just yet."

the News comes nearly a year to the day after the appointment of Tim Cook to the position of Apple CEO after the retirement of Steve Jobs, who passed away shortly afterwards.

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Latest comments (12)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 9 years ago
This is on rumours about iPhone 5, which some analysts think will sell 250 million units.
Also coming is the 7 inch tablet that could well be called iPad Air and which is also imminent and will also be a huge revenue earner.
But potentially the biggest earner will be when they bring the app store to the living room with Apple TV.

So Apple will certainly get over the trillion dollar value threshold. It is just a matter of where do they go from there?

And remember that they have immense cash reserves that they could unleash at any time to, say, buy Sony or Nintendo.
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Ben Furneaux Principal Designer 9 years ago

What reason would Apple have to buy Sony or Nintendo? Other than patents and content it doesn't seem as if either company could offer them very much.

Historically Apple haven't been in the content creation business, or explicitly the games industry, so an acquisition of either Sony or Nintendo seems very, very unlikely to me.

More likely large acquisition targets for Apple are companies like Square or Twitter.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 9 years ago
Both companies are platform holders first, and content creators second. At least Sony is.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee9 years ago

If Apple capitalised on the potential of AppleTV for gaming, they really wouldn't need to buy Sony or Nintendo. Can't see it happening anyway. Nintendo are incredibly comfortable and successful on their own and have been since the dawn of time.
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James Ingrams Writer 9 years ago
Everybody is blind. Or just know their fate and are partying to the end, by pretending nothing is happening on this planet that Apple need to worry about.

Apple I-Pads and the Amazon Kindle are made of over 90% oil and are shipped around the world from China by oil guzzling ship! Rather than using sustainable wood for paperbacks and hi-fi that could last 20 years to play music, we buy expensive toys that not only use up oil at an ever fast rate, but also the dwindling mineral supplies that Amazon and Apple use for the memory and microchips etc on the circuit board!

BP said in 2009 that it believed with it's oil reserves, and what it was going to be able to drill from harder and harder locations, that it's oil would last 50 years. Since 2009 with the rise of a now billion car owning China, the demands of Brazil and the technology demands of India (see Amazon and Apple for what that means!), oil is being consumed at 2.5 times the rate of 4 years ago! This means, that if other companies are similar to BP, we have about 25 years of oil left.

Are we truly going to use the last of our oil supplies buying electronic book readers and a new model of I-Pad every year, or are we going to wake up and go on a war footing, economically and otherwise for the day oil runs out? Because no economy is going to be able to become a non-oil one in less than 100-200 years, and if we keep buying this redundant technology. we'll never get that far!

I have worked in the I.T. business for nearly 30 years. But first, by a long way, I have always remembered I am human first. We need many more people to get off this "me too" train and remember they are human and Earth is our only home!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Ingrams on 21st August 2012 6:38pm

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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee9 years ago
James, you assume that build materials arent going to change. Even if they didn't every consumer electronics company is the same boat, so they'd all die a miserable oil starved fate...

Also, of course Apple have things to worry about. They may be en-route to become the first Trillion $ company but every company that gets cosy is eventually caught up and surpassed somehow. We'll have to wait and see for that.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 21st August 2012 10:32pm

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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 9 years ago
@Adam Campbell

In the last recorded quarter, to June 30, Nintendo made a loss of 17.3 billion Yen ($220 million). In their last financial year, to March 31, their turnover dropped by 36% and they made a loss of 43.2 billion Yen (4532 million).
Their current share price is 8,820 Yen, it was 70,500 Yen in November 2007.

This is not incredibly comfortable or successful.
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@Dan Pearson: Having the highest market capitalisation does not equate to being the richest company. It is perfectly possible to have poor companies (i.e. those with limited balance sheet strength) with high market caps if investor sentiment is positive towards the company and furture earnings expectations sufficiently positive.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 9 years ago
@Nick Gibson

But this doesn't apply to Apple who hold about $110 billion in CASH.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee9 years ago
@Bruce Everiss

I completely disagree.

Yes, Nintendo's profits and share price even are down. But their reduced success with N64 and Gamecube didn't see them bought out by Microsoft for example and their recent success with Wii is incredible and not exactly forgettable.

We also shouldn't forget they are the most successful video games company of all time for a reason and can't be rated on the last quarter alone.

Nintendo are the masters of re-invention and innovation but even if their hardware success started to dwindle considerably there is nothing stopping them from releasing just one of a list of the most successful video game IPs of all time (i.e. Mario) on a platform like iOS and easily create the biggest selling game ever. I'd say Mario on iOS and a Pokemon MMO on PC would be almost enough alone to feed incredible success for the company, not even accounting for their other powerful IP and innovative ideas that could be spread across the games industry.

Nintendo would literally have to be dying for a buyout to be a reasonable proposition, a poor quarter and record success for Apple is not if you ask me.
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@Bruce. Sure, but that is not what the content of the article is about nor does net cash = market cap.
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