Apple hit a $1 trillion market cap Thursday, marking the first time a publicly traded U.S. company has reached such a valuation.
Following a strong third quarter earnings report earlier in the week the company’s stock rose nearly three percent to hit a session high of $207.05. The number marks a nearly 20% rise in the company’s stock price this year.
Analysts attribute the recent boom to several factors. First, the continued popularity of the company’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X, particularly in the Japanese and Chinese markets. And second, the company’s continued strong software and service revenues including the company’s App Store, iTunes, Apple Care, and Cloud Services.
Apple is now the first Silicon Valley-based company to reach the $1 trillion valuation, beating rivals Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. As of the close of trading on Tuesday, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon’s market caps were $817 billion, $858 billion, and $877 billion respectively.
The record valuation reflects the continued overall strength of markets in general. With a nearly 4% weighting, Apple’s stock is the largest holding in the S&P index. As such, the news of the company’s continued stock climb is welcome news to investors especially when considering almost all large-company mutual funds hold the stock.
To put things into further perspective, at the current $1 trillion valuation, if Apple were a sovereign nation its economy would rank 15th largest on earth. This is a long way from where the company started. Since the company first listed in 1980, shares of Apple have risen by a staggering 50,000% – while the S&P itself saw just a 2,000% increase over the same period of time.
While some analysts predict the stock could climb as high as $275 per share, others are not so optimistic. According to Mark Hulbert at Market Watch, the high price simply means the stock is overpriced. According to Mr. Hulbert, after calculating the dividend-adjusted return for the highest valued company in the S&P for each year since 1980, on average each of those companies lagged the index average by roughly 4% the following year.
Whether or not Apple’s shares will continue to rise remains anyone’s guess, but what no one can dispute is just how far the company has come since going public all those years ago.