Apple has pushed past Microsoft today, and is now, as of the time of this writing, the most valuable publicly-traded stock ever. Microsoft held the “most valuable” title since 1999.
Microsoft’s market capitalization reached $618.89 billion on December 30th 1999 based on 5,160,024,593 outstanding shares at $119.94 per share on October 31st of that year.
Apple, in their most recent quarterly filling noted 937,406,000 outstanding shares on July 13th of this year. With the stock price reaching $664.25 (at the time of this writing), the company’s market capitalization reached $622.61 billion.
With all of that said, Apple technically holds the title of most-valuable capitalization based on the numbers. However, if adjusted for inflation, Microsoft’s record-setting capitalization of $618.89 would be around $842.5 billion in today’s dollars.
There is yet one more caveat. PetroChina began trading on the Shanghai stock exchange in 2007 with a market cap of $1 trillion. PetroChina has only 2% of it’s shares on the market, and the shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange and depository receipts on the New York Stock Exchange never reached a trillion dollar evaluation.
The point of all of this technical, financial jargon is this: Apple as a company, and an economic institution is going great guns at this moment in time. My gut says, the stock will continue to go up in value so long as Apple continues to grow, and there is little sign of that slowing at this juncture.