Propelled by the upcoming release of the iPhone 5 and a potentially smaller and more affordable iPad, Apple’s stock hit $664.74 this week, raising the company’s value to $623 billion, the highest ever in Wall St.’s history. The company beat out Microsoft’s high of $620.58 billion on Dec. 30, 1999.
Granted, that’s not adjusted for inflation, which would put Microsoft’s record at $850 billion, but that value should also be adjusted to the inflationary dot.com bubble, which popped shortly after Microsoft set its record. Investors and analysts had expected the company’s value to continue to exponentially climb. Today, Microsoft is worth about $257 billion.
While expensive, Apple’s stock, on the other hand, is relatively cheap. Its S&P “price to earnings ratio” stands at 15.6. Comparatively, Microsoft’s “price to earnings ratio” stood at 83 at its 1999 height. The AP pointed out that 38 analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted an average price for Apple of $745.80.
Since the end of 2011, Apple has ranked as the world’s most valuable company, worth 53 percent more than the second contender, Exxon Mobil Corp. In the last year, the computer giant has added about $300 billion, nearly 3/4 of Exxon’s current market cap of $408.84 billion and 1/3 of higher than Google’s market cap of $218.08 billion. In fact, Apple today is worth more than Exxon and Google combined.
And Apple is about to revamp the iPhone and rumored to release a cheaper iPad mini to compete against iPad knockoffs such as Google’s Nexus and Samsung’s Galaxy Note. It currently holds $61.4 percent of the tablet market, a figure likely to balloon when cheaper iPad options are available. Unlike the dot.com bubble, Apple’s value is real and practically grows on trees.