Apple's stock made history in after hour trading as its valuation topped the over $500 billion mark.... yes, that's a whopping half-trillion dollars.... a half-trillion dollars!
As you can see in the Yahoo chart above, Apple's stock closed the day at $535.41, giving it a mind-blowing market cap of some $499.20 billion smackeroo's! However, as you can see in the chart below, Apple's stock is up a further $3.58 in after hour trading, meaning that with approximately some 933 million shares outstanding this adds another three billion buckeroo's to its market cap, making Apple one of only a few companies on the planet to ever do so.
As CNN's Money put it, that makes Apple worth more than the entire nation of Poland! They also pointed out that this historic achievement was achieved only four times previously by Microsoft, General Electric, Cisco and Exxon. At one time, however, Microsoft was worth a staggering $600 billion plus, a feat that has never been achieved before or since. Will, or can, Apple topple Microsoft's all-time record? That's hard to say, but it certainly seems doable, because as others have pointed out, Apple is not only big, but it is still achieving unbelievable growth rates and thus making it seemingly in defiance of the law of big numbers.
As the Guardian noted, there are presently only 20 countries in the world that have a gross national product higher than Apple's market cap! Now that is quite astonishing indeed!
In conclusion, despite problems with the iPad's name being contested by Proview, and the granting of a 'slide-to-unlock' patent to a Swedish company, with some $100 billion in the bank, rip-roaring sales and a new iPad 3 expected to be unveiled on March 7, Apple has never been looking better than it does now.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Wednesday, February 29, 2012