September 17, 2012: On the back of record iPhone 5 preorders of 2 million in 24 hours, Apple’s stock price hits a new all-time high. For the first time in history, AAPL breaks the $700 mark in after-hours trading. Passing the milestone cements Cupertino’s place as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.
Amazingly, the new record is $270 a share higher than Apple at the start of the year. The stock rose 65% in just nine months.
August 20, 2012: Apple passes a financial milestone as it becomes the most valuable publicly traded stock ever.
The company it bests to attain this record? Longtime rival Microsoft, which peaked on December 30, 1999. Apple’s surge to the top spot serves as a reminder of just how radically the fortunes of both companies changed over the years.
Apple made more money in the last year than any other company in the world, according to the new Fortune 500 rankings. With annual profits of $57.5 billion, no other enterprise came particularly close, with the nearest rival earning about $8 billion less.
This goes a long way toward explaining why Apple remains the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world.
Warren Buffett is one of the greatest financial masterminds of our time. But he’s not infallible. Sometimes even Warren makes mistakes — and one of those recent mistakes was called Apple.
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway firm has long invested in Apple, with Buffett once saying that, “I don’t think of Apple as a stock. I think of it as our third business. It’s probably the best business I know in the world. And that is a bigger commitment than we have in any business except insurance and the railroad.”
Apple has done extremely well for Buffett. The company’s stake in Apple has tripled in value in the past three years. On Wednesday, as Apple closed at a new all-time high, it was worth $128 billion. It accounts for more than 40% of Berkshire’s US portfolio, while Berkshire is Apple’s second larger shareholder (after index fund giant Vanguard.) However, Buffett has also been pruning his Apple stake. And it’s cost him.
Apple is the world’s most valuable public company, days from unveiling new software and hardware at WWDC, in the middle of its hottest iPhone cycle in years, and having just debuted its biggest iMac redesign in years. So all is good, then?
Well, apparently not. In fact, a report Friday notes that Apple stock is currently on track for its longest weekly losing streak in more than two-and-a-half years. Because the stock market works in mysterious ways.
Update:AAPL closed at $125.89 Friday, up $2.35 (or 1.9%). So much for the losing streak.
Apple’s market cap has climbed more than $13 billion this year alone, equal to the company’s entire net worth in mid-2004. But that’s still enough to make it an underperformer next to its tech titan peers.
In a Wednesday report, the Wall Street Journal notes that Apple has risen 1.3% in 2021 so far. That’s compared to an average of 16% for Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Google parent company Alphabet. It’s also way less than the 81% Apple soared in 2020.
Apple’s annual shareholders meeting won’t take place on the Apple Park campus this year as it ordinarily would. With the COVID-19 pandemic dragging on, it’ll be a virtual-only event in 2021. This is likely to increase participation in the February 23 meeting. And if you own AAPL shares, you can attend.