Apple briefly becomes most valuable company -- again
A huge quarterly performance sends shares of the company up 6%.
Apple (AAPL) smashed through its former 52-week high Wednesday to once again become the world's most valuable company -- for less than a day.
Investors are still reeling from Apple's truly momentous earnings report for the final quarter of last year. We were expecting big numbers, but nothing this big: Profit more than doubled in a year to $13.1 billion, and revenue soared 73% to top $46 billion.
And Apple's cash holdings have grown to almost $98 billion. Its cash alone is worth more than all but 52 companies on Earth, notes Dennis Berman of The Wall Street Journal.
Apple shares rose more than 6% Wednesday to $447.62, placing its market value at $417 billion. For much of the day that was higher than the $413 billion market value for Exxon Mobil (XOM), which previously held the title of most valuable company.
But Exxon came back late in the day with just a slight share price increase of .05%. Because the company has so many shares outstanding -- 4.79 billion -- that was enough to push its market cap up to about $418 billion. Apple only has 932 million outstanding shares, and it closed the day with a market value of $416 billion.
The following video has more analyst discussion about Apple's cash hoard.
Post continues below.
Apple and Exxon have danced this dance before. Apple briefly replaced Exxon as most valuable company last August, and the two have been neck and neck at times since then. But there's an interesting difference between the two: "Exxon obviously sells a product that people need. Apple sells a product that people want," Brian Marshall, an analyst with Gleacher & Co., told the Associated Press last August.
So where does Apple go from here? Can the company maintain this unbelievable momentum? And what is Apple going to do with all that cash?
Analysts think there is still opportunity for Apple's stock price to continue rising. The iPhone demand in China is bonkers, and Apple has plenty of room there. Apple's still the only major player in the tablet market -- it says it doesn't even see any effect from Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle Fire -- and the next version of the iPad is reportedly coming this year.
And then there are Mac sales, which rose 26% to hit a record in the same quarter that global PC sales saw a 1.4% decline.
If there ever was a company firing on all cylinders, Apple is it.
People need to understand that companies like Apple are successful because of the way they push their products. It seems each product has a life of 6 months before it is replaced by a newer "superior" model. So everyone runs out to grab that one. While the previous version sits in a landfill.
Advertising (especially to the young) is quite effective and billions are spent to grab their attention.
Google "Zeitgeist : Addendum" , It's a free online movie that explains how our money system works and how huge corporations (like apple) really operate.
the only thing apple has going for it is the iphone and the ipod once they loose that advantage down they go again
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
John Stumpf acknowledges that growth has been slow, but he says he's still optimistic.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.