Apple market cap soars to $700 billion

Apple’s market capitalization has exceeded $700 billion for the first time, making it the most valuable U.S. company ever without adjusting for inflation.

The Cupertino-based company’s market cap crossed the $700 billion threshold on Tuesday, meaning it has doubled since CEO Tim Cook took the reins from founder Steve Jobs in 2011.

“It’s the ultimate statement of what Tim Cook has added,” Gene Munster, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, told CNBC. 

During trading in New York this morning, Apple’s stock reached  a high of $119.75. That equates to a record valuation of more than $702 billion, making Apple the world’s most valuable company by a long shot. Its market capitalization is 1.7 times that of the runner-up, Exxon Mobil, which is worth $405 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Reaching the $700 billion summit is just the latest achievement Apple has logged during a financial hot streak this fall. Earlier this month, Apple’s market cap climbed to more than $660 billion, besting the levels it reached in 2012, the year it earned the  title of world’s most valuable company.

But the company must continue its run to become the most valuable U.S. company in history when adjusting for inflation. That crown belongs to an old foe: Microsoft. In 1999, amid the dot-com boom, the software giant reached a market cap of $620.6 billion, which translates to about  $884.5 billion in today’s dollars, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation adjustment calculator.

Analysts chalk Apple’s sterling financial performance up to the renewed buzz surrounding its product line. The mobile giant has been riding high since unveiling an arsenal of new offerings — supersize iPhones, a mobile payments system and a long awaited smartwatch — at a star-studded event in September.

Above: Apple’s market capitalization has doubled during CEO Tim Cook’s tenure (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images).


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