Apple Inc. (AAPL) reached another milestone today. On another active and volatile day in the stock market, as of 3:50 PM, Apple shares are up by $16.00 a share and Exxon (XOM) shares are about unchanged at $70.40. This makes Apple America's most valuable company.
Apple's Recent Outstanding Success Has Been With the iPhone and iPad
Of course, the evaluation is by market capitalization. At today's market prices, Apple's market cap is now about $341 billion and Exxon's is about $339 billion. Apple shares have soared since the release of the iPhone and iPad products. CEO Steve Jobs has done a brilliant job of conceiving and going on to direct his engineers and design teams to produce hot products that are in world-wide demand.
Exxon has long been the most valuable company in America by market cap. However, with the recent sharp drop in crude oil prices and the decline in the stock market, Exxon has traded down from a high of $88.23 a share which was hit on 2/23/11 to today's price in the low $70s. So Exxon has recently declined a bit in market cap while Apple has forged ahead.
The Apple and Steve Jobs Story is an Amazing One
The story of Apple Inc. and its surge of the past two years is one of the more amazing ones in US business history. Even its computer business has finally gained traction after years of being in fifth place or lower. According to a report by Gartner Research in the second quarter of 2011 Apple climbed into third place in the U.S. market, up from fifth place a year ago. Apple grabbed a 10.7 percent share, up from an 8.5 percent share in the prior-year quarter.
While a surge in computer sales has been helpful in driving Apple's stock higher, it is the success of its iPhone and iPad sales that have made investors giddy and willing to pay up for the stock even in a difficult market.
What do you know? When you manufacture a product that acquires an almost cult like following of devoted fans and users you can move right into the international fast lane. With the fantastic success of the iPhone and iPad and iPhone5 scheduled for release later this year Apple Inc looks to stay America's most valuable company for a long time to come.
Steve Jobs - CEO Apple Inc - Photo by Jurvetson