Apple Does What No US Company Has Done Before

It's the first publicly traded American company to hit a $2T market cap
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2020 10:55 AM CDT
Apple Does What No US Company Has Done Before
In this June 16, 2020, file photo, the sun is reflected on Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Just before 11am ET on Wednesday, Apple's share price hit $467.77—and propelled the company into the record books. Based on its share count and that price, Apple became the first publicly traded US company to hit a $2 trillion market cap. The feat comes just a hair over two years after it hit a $1 trillion market cap, which it did on Aug. 2, 2018. More:

  • Success for Tim Cook. CNBC's take: "While the mark is largely symbolic, it does underscore Apple CEO Tim Cook's success at changing the company's story. Investors have started seeing Apple's business less like other hardware makers and more like a software company."

  • The truly stunning part. The New York Times notes that while it would have been impressive enough for Apple's value to have doubled in two years, the increase from $1 trillion to $2 trillion happened in just 21 weeks. The company's valuation fell below $1 trillion in mid-March, but has risen by an average of $6.8 billion a day since the Federal Reserve introduced measures to protect the economy.
  • "No room for error." With Apple facing headwinds including regulatory probes and a lawsuit that threatens its App Store business model, Dan Gallagher at the Wall Street Journal considers buying Apple at its current price a risky bet. With the stock trading at around 32 times expected earnings, double the figure from when it hit $1 trillion, "all a $2 trillion valuation really means is that Apple investors are now willing to pay twice as much for the same earnings outlook," he writes.
  • The draw for investors. Investors have been attracted to Apple by rising sales for subscription services including Apple Music, as well as buzz around the upcoming launch of the iPhone 12, reports CNN. Investors also see Apple and other tech giants as a safe haven during the pandemic, the Times notes. Since March 23, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook have risen by a combined total of almost $3 trillion, around as much as the S&P 500's next 50 most valuable firms combined.
  • Not a world first. The AP notes Apple isn't the first global company to have hit the $2 trillion number: Saudi Aramco did so shortly after becoming a public company last December, but a fall in oil prices has brought that figure down to about $1.82 trillion.
(More Apple stories.)

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