Apple of stock market’s eye as tech firm hits $1tn value

A shopper uses a tablet as he queues outside Apple's Regent Street store in 2017 waiting for the store to open on the day of the launch of the Apple iPhone X.' Picture: AFP/Getty
A shopper uses a tablet as he queues outside Apple's Regent Street store in 2017 waiting for the store to open on the day of the launch of the Apple iPhone X.' Picture: AFP/Getty
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For a company which grew from humble beginnings in a dimly lit garage to become one the world’s most influential technological and cultural forces, it represents another dizzying success.

Apple, the manufacturer of ubiquitous personal electronics devices such as the iPhone and iPad, last night became only the second company in the world to be valued in excess of a trillion dollars.

In a ringing endorsement of the firm’s business model and product range, soaring share prices helped push its market capitalisation over the $1,000,000,000,000 mark (£761 billion).

The jump in value was achieved in the face of mounting concerns over the impact of US President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, a major supplier for Apple.

The hike in stock prices of around 7 per cent came after the California-based company released its latest quarterly results, and puts in a rarefied place, having already cemented its status as the world’s most valuable firm.

On Monday, Apple’s market capitalisation stood at just under $950bn, but the jump in share prices helped add tens of billions of dollars to its value.

Though it is rare for Apple shares to climb that much in a single day, it is not unprecedented – in July 2016 stock rose 6.5 per cent in a day after financial results beat analysts’ expectations. Since the start of 2018, its share price has risen by around 14 per cent.

Apple is just one of a number of leading tech firms which have been racing towards the trillion dollar mark in recent weeks and months.

Last week, the market capitalisation of Amazon, the online retailer, reached $917bn (£699bn) after well received quarterly results.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, was recently valued at $886bn (£676bn), while computing giant, Microsoft, reached a market cap of $827bn (£631bn).

However, several other technology firms have seen their share price drop in the wake of recent financial results – most notably Twitter and Facebook last week after both reported slowing user growth.

Ahead of Apple’s latest results, analysts predicted iPhone sales to be up slightly on last year and indicated that revenue would rise further thanks to the higher price of the iPhone X, which Apple said, when announcing its last set of results, was its best-selling phone.

The MacBook manufacturer’s services business – which includes the App Store and Apple Music streaming service – has also been a good performer in recent quarters and another strong performance in the latest results helped drive growth.

As has been Apple’s modus operandi for several years, it is expected to unveil the next version of the iPhone in September, a crucial month for the company in which it could reveal as many as three new handsets coming to the market. Experts believe they will include a larger-screened version of the iPhone X and a more affordable model with a lower cost LCD display

The first publicly traded company to reach a trillion dollar valuation was PetroChina.

The oil giant briefly surpassed the milestone back in 2007 after its stock began trading in Shanghai, but its record capitalisation was short lived.

Its shares quickly nosedived, and nowadays the company is worth around $220bn (£167bn).