Apple is No. 1 stock of all time
The company's shares are on a steep climb, making it the most valuable company ever, with a market value of more than $622 billion.
With shares on fire ahead of some big announcements, Apple (AAPL) surged past Microsoft (MSFT) Monday to become the most valuable company ever.
Apple shares rose 2.6% Monday to close at $665.15 -- enough to push the company's market value to $623.5 billion. Microsoft rode the dot-com boom to hit a peak market cap of $618.9 billion on Dec. 30, 1999. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)
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Of course, when you adjust the numbers for inflation, Apple still has a little way to go to beat Microsoft. On an inflation-adjusted basis, Microsoft was worth about $850 billion at its peak, The Associated Press reports. Now, however, Microsoft's market value is only about $258 billion.
Apple is already the world's most valuable company. It knocked Exxon Mobil (XOM) from its perch late last year and has since blown past the former leader. These days, Exxon is worth only about $406 billion.
Apple is cruising on an intense amount of hype for what may become its best-selling product: the next iPhone. The iPhone 5 is widely expected to be announced on Sept. 12, though Apple hasn't confirmed anything yet. One analyst, Craig Berger of FBR Capital, thinks the iPhone 5 will create $50 per share in profit for Apple over the course of its lifetime.
Also fueling shares is the expectation that Apple is developing a smaller, cheaper iPad tablet and new television-related products, perhaps a standalone TV, a set-top box, or both.
The world is expecting big news from Apple over the next year, and that is reflected in the share price.
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Shares fell 9 percent during the quarter, which offers a compelling entry price now.
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