Apple inches toward yet another record … Again

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is just full of milestones these days. It seems the Cupertino Colossus spits one out every few weeks. Last night’s milestone: briefly topping US$600 billion in market cap.

Thanks to its intraday high of more than $644 before pulling back a little, the Mac maker was able to cross that threshold shortly, hitting a new all-time high after hitting one just yesterday.

Let’s quickly revisit some of the other notable events that the Mac maker saw over the past few months.

  • Jan. 19 — US$400 billion market cap.
  • Jan. 25 — Record first quarter earnings: US$46.33 billion in sales, US$13 billion in net income, 37 million iPhones sold, and 15.4 million iPads sold.
  • Feb. 9 — US$500 share price.
  • Feb. 29 — US$500 billion market cap.
  • March 7 — Third-generation iPad unveiled.
  • March 15 — US$600 share price.
  • March 21 — 3 million third-generation iPads sold over launch weekend.
  • Today — US$600 billion market cap.

That’s a jam-packed quarter that would keep anyone busy. Apple shares have since pulled back and ended in the red, along with just about everything else overnight. However, the company is on the verge of pushing into uncharted territory and topping longtime rival Microsoft‘s (Nasdaq: MSFT) record market cap of US$619 billion in December 1999.

The difference is that Microsoft’s record was at the height of the tech bubble and shares traded as high as nearly 73 times earnings at the time, compared with Apple’s current P/E of just 18. That’s a big discrepancy in valuation, and it shows that Apple’s recent run is certainly more justified than Microsoft’s was more than 12 years ago.

Apple doesn’t look as if it will be passing the market crown back to ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) anytime soon, as the oil giant’s market cap now trails at US$395 billion. Main mobile rival Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) can’t compete in this race, either, with its US$205 billion market cap.

There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, as Street analysts now have price targets as high as $910$960, or $1,001, among others.

Are there still any trillion-dollar sceptics out there?

If you are looking for ASX investing ideas, look no further than “The Motley Fool’s Top Stock for 2012.” In this free report, Investment Analyst Dean Morel names his top pick for 2012…and beyond. Click here now to find out the name of this small but growing telecommunications company. But hurry – the report is free for only a limited period of time.

More reading

This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

A version of this article was originally published on

5 ASX Stocks for Building Wealth After 50

I just read that Warren Buffett, the world’s best investor, made over 99% of his massive fortune after his 50th birthday.

It just goes to show you… it’s never too late to start securing your financial future.

And Motley Fool Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips just released a brand-new report that reveals five of our favourite ASX stocks for building wealth after 50.

– Each company boasts strong growth prospects over the next 3 to 5 years…

– Most importantly each pays a generous dividend, fully franked.

Simply click here to find out how you can claim your FREE copy of “5 ASX Stocks for Building Wealth After 50.”

See the stocks now