The recent surge in Apple’s stock price has pushed the company’s market capitalization past the $620 billion mark, making it the most valuable publicly traded company ever.
Apple’s stock is presently trading around the $660 mark, and has seen a steady growth since the past few days.
The previous record for the most valuable publicly traded company was held by Microsoft, which had a market capitalization of $618.9 billion back in December 1999. Apple, which was recovering from a near bankruptcy situation, had a market capitalization of slightly more than $16 billion back then.
The iPhone, and the post-PC era it ushered in, are the prime reasons for the huge growth in Apple’s stock price over the past five years. Microsoft, meanwhile, was pretty late to the modern mobile computing revolution, losing precious time to stage a comeback.
While this is a great feat accomplished by Apple, Asymco’s Horace Dediu notes that when taking inflation into account, Microsoft’s peak of $618.9 billion still stays undefeated:
In inflation-adjusted dollars, Microsoft was worth about $850 billion on Dec. 30, 1999. It is now worth $257 billion
— Horace Dediu (@asymco) August 20, 2012
Others, however, argue that since the dot com bubble was at its peak in the late 1990s, Microsoft’s record market capitalization wasn’t indicative of its own abilities as much as the positivity in the general market scenario.
Apple’s rumored September 12th event, with multiple product launches lined up, might end up pushing this peak even higher. Analysts believe that Apple’s stock price could surpass the $700 mark sometime in the future due to these factors.