Apple recently became one of only six US companies to ever reach the $500 billion level in market value – although none of its predecessors have managed to maintain that status for long.
Investors, however, remain hopeful after Apple's last quarter report showed over $46 billion in revenue, marking one of the largest quarterly gains in the history of any technology firm.
Contributing to Apple’s latest milestone, the company’s stock price reached nearly $543 per share putting its market capitalization near $506 billion. Analysts agree that this jump in stock price is in part directly attributed to invitations recently sent out by Apple to attend its iPad 3 event, which will take place this week.
The introduction of the iPod, iPhone and iPad have helped push Apple stock prices up more than 4,500% since 2002. While analysts question how well the company will be able to continue this exponential growth rate, Wall Street observers remain optimistic considering the continued rise in iPhone sales as well as Apple’s aggressive strategy of infiltrating large untapped markets like China and Brazil.
Now ranked as the world’s most-valuable company, Apple continues to widen the gap between it and Exxon, who is currently valued at around $407 billion. Exxon reached the $500 billion mark for two brief periods back in 2007.
Among the other corporations to achieve this level of success were Microsoft, which hit the $500 billion mark briefly in 1999 and again in early 2000; and Cisco, Intel, and GE, which all reached $500 billion in early 2000.
To date, Microsoft is now valued at $267 billion, while GE is worth approximately $200 billion, and Cisco and Intel are now at little over $100 billion each.
Apple's New CEO Benefits
While Apple itself steals the spotlight among corporations, Apple’s newly appointed CEO Tim Cook was reported to receive a $378 million compensation package. Cook was offered a salary of $900,000 per year plus the same amount in the form of a performance bonus as well as one million restricted stock units valued at $376 million to be paid out half in 2016 and the remainder in 2021.
In further news about Apple’s board of management, the organization recently announced at its first annual shareholders’ meeting that it would be changing its governance rules. Going forward, anyone appointed to the board will have to receive a backing from the majority of its shareholders win a seat.
Interesting Facts – Apple (source: Forbes)
- With nearly 160 products manufactured and sold in 2011, Apple’s iPhone topped the charts selling 70 million units; the iPad came in second with 30 million units, and the remainder was attributed to Apple’s host of other products.
- Apple is at its highest employee rate in the US, with 63,000 employees. Its contractor partners total 700,000 employees.
- When comparing profit to headcount, Apple reached a $400,000 profit per employee in 2011.