SAN FRANCISCO: Tech giant Apple has become the first US company to reach $2 trillion in market value.
It reached the milestone just two years after becoming the world’s first trillion-dollar company in March 2018. Its share price hit $467.77 in mid-morning trading in the US on Wednesday to push it over the $2 trillion mark.
Apple is followed by other technology companies, including Amazon, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet, all of which now have more than $1 trillion in market value. The only other company to reach the $2tn level was state-owned Saudi Aramco after it listed its shares last December.
Shares in Apple have roughly doubled from March lows, an astonishing performance which has lifted chief executive Tim Cook’s net worth to $1 billion for the first time. The next most valuable US company is Amazon which is worth around $1.7tn.
The iPhone-maker’s shares have leapt more than 50% this year, despite the coronavirus crisis forcing it to shut retail stores and political pressure over its links China. Apple posted strong third-quarter figures towards the end of July, including $59.7bn of revenue and double-digit growth in its products and services segments.
Apple’s share price has doubled since its low point in March, when panic about the coronavirus pandemic swept the markets. Tech firms have seen their stock surge in recent weeks, even though the US is in recession.
Apple has outpaced rivals by delivering strong sales of gadgets including wearables and tablets, along with new apps and services which have gained ground during the global health crisis. In the past quarter ending in June, Apple reported profits climbed eight percent to $11.2 billion and revenues jumped 11 percent to $59.7 billion.
A major factor in Apple’s success has been leadership from Cook, who took over just ahead of the death of Steve Jobs in 2011. Apple’s rise comes amid an increase in technology shares as employees shift to working at home amid the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing protocols.
In the most recent quarter, Apple enjoyed a modest rise in smartphone revenue and robust increases in sales of iPads and Mac computers amid elevated demand for remote education and work-from-home buyers.
The company also benefited from services such as digital payments and streaming and from increased sales in smartwatches as interest in health and fitness applications rises.