The end of 2018 and start of 2018 have not exactly been brilliant for Apple. The Cupertino tech giant saw slumping iPhone sale trigger analysts to shy away from the company’s stock (AAPL). Then, adding to it was Apple’s own revision of financial expectations for the first quarter, sending the stock down further. But after the earnings call for the first quarter last month, the stock has slowly been rising as investors come to grips with the “new” Apple where iPhone sales will stay flat and services will be the bellwether for the company. To that end, Apple is now the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.
AAPL shares closed yesterday at a price of $174.24. That gives it a market capitalization of $821.59 billion, pushing it past Microsoft (MSFT). Microsoft, at the close of trading yesterday, sat at a market cap of $813.48 billion while third place Amazon (AMZN) closed at $805.70 billion. It is the first time that Apple has been on top in 2019. This is far less than the $1 trillion valuation that the company hit late last year.
For those that are new to investing and are familiar with it, market capitalization, or market cap, is the total market value of the shares outstanding of a publicly traded company. You arrive at the total value by taking the stock price and multiplying by the number of shares outstanding.
How long Apple will be able to stay in the top spot is anyone’s guess and all three of the companies mentioned above have been jockeying for that crown for months. Microsoft has held it for several months at the end of 2018 and all of 2019 to this point and you can expect that, at some point throughout this year, all three companies at one time or another will hold the title. In our over-indexed for growth stock market, it is inevitable.