Apple’s market cap hits $500 billion

News Stacy Warden 10:40, Feb 29 2012

Apple shares continue to climb, company is one of the most valuable in history

I wanted to start this by saying something like, “Good for Apple, the company has finally done it—finally reached the $500 billion mark.” But in Apple’s case words like “finally” just don’t fit. It took a mere 40 days for the company’s market cap to skyrocket from $400 billion to $500 billion.

Forty. Days.

If you’ve been keeping up, it was only two weeks ago that we saw the company’s shares reach $500 (a first for Apple). So while this market cap news may not be all too titillating, the short time in which Apple reached such staggering numbers certainly tops my list of tech-nerd talking points.

On Tuesday Apple’s stock rose to $537.54, pushing it over the half-trillion market cap. As of this writing, Apple shares are even higher in pre-market trading at $539. And with the iPad 3 launch just a week away, and a possible update to its Apple TV, it may not be long before the company’s market cap exceeds $600 billion (that would make it worth more than twice Microsoft’s current valuation).

Apple’s shiny new numbers put the company in an elite club, one that consists of the five most valuable companies throughout history (right up there with Microsoft, ExxonMobil, Cisco and General Electric). As CNN points out, that also makes it worth more than the gross domestic product of Poland, Belgium, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, or Taiwan.

And Apple is still fast growing. Just last year alone its sales were up 73-percent. It also posted the second most profitable quarter ever for a U.S. company and, in January, passed ExxonMobil as the most valuable company on the stock market (Exxon now has the second highest at about $410 billion).

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