Financial fruit: Apple becomes 1st trillion-dollar company

Apple becomes world’s first trillion-dollar company

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The rand (R13.46/$) was hit by global nervousness yesterday after the Chinese government hit back in response to U.S. president Donald Trump's threat to double planned tariffs on Chinese imports from next month.

It's official: On Thursday, Apple became the first publicly traded USA company with a market capitalization over $1 trillion.

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Amazon is now the second-largest publicly-listed USA company, with a market capitalization of $889 billion, followed closely by Alphabet and Microsoft, at $856 billion and $830 billion respectively. One of three founders, Jobs was driven out of Apple in the mid-1980s, only to return a decade later and rescue the computer company from near bankruptcy.

And an investor who bought in around the company's initial public offering would have made a very impressive return.

The market cap is the company's total market value, calculated by multiplying the value of its stock times all shares outstanding. "The markets are starting to recognize the value of its platform and services more and more, and that's what is being reflected in the increase in market capitalization", said Brad Neuman, director of Market Strategy at Alger, a growth equity asset management firm in New York City.

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For context, passing the $1 trillion mark means Apple now has a value greater than the gross domestic product of all but 26 major countries; its value is higher than the GDP of Argentina, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland, among others, according to the CIA's World Factbook.

Apple just became the first United States company with a market capitalization over $1 trillion. In 2007, Chinese government-controlled PetroChina briefly reached a stock market value of about $1.1 trillion following its public listing in Shanghai.

Meanwhile, rivals like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google parent company Alphabet also appear to be on the fast-track to $1 trillion, meaning that Apple will likely soon have some company in this club.

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Apple shares rose 2.7 percent to an all-time high of $207.05 around midday. That put Apple on a path to overtake Exxon Mobil in 2011 as the largest US company by market value. Analysts polled by Bloomberg have an average price target of $212.79, which would translate to a market cap of $1.05 trillion.

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