Apple has become the first US company to be valued at $2 trillion (£1.5 trillion), the second company in the world to reach the landmark.
Shares hit $467.77 in mid-morning US trading on August 19, pushing it past the $2 trillion mark. Shares later dropped down to $462.83 at closing for a market capitalisation of $1.98 trillion.
The company reached its first trillion-dollar valuation in 2018, the first company to do so. Apple maintains a lead on its nearest tech rival Amazon, which is valued at $1.7 trillion, with Microsoft at $1.6 trillion.
Apple was beaten to the $2 trillion mark by state-owned Saudi oil company Saudi Aramco when it listed its shares in December 2019. Apple surpassed Saudi Aramco in July as the Covid-19 economic slump brought down oil prices, with the oil company falling to $1.8 trillion.
The coronavirus pandemic has not affected major tech companies, which have seen their valuations rise over the past six years. The companies are helping drive the S&P stock market to record highs despite an economic recession.
Apple’s shares have grown 50% this year, despite dropping to a low point in March as fears about the coronavirus hit markets. Apple’s shares fell from a high of $1.4 trillion to just under $1 trillion. The company’s share prices have doubled since then, with the company adding $1 trillion of additional value in five months.
The decline drove pessimism about Apple’s potential, with the company itself issuing a revenue warning in February. Since then, strong performance has defied expectations to drive the company’s share price up.
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Apple reported $59.7 billion of revenue in its third-quarter figures at the end of July, with sales growing 11%. The company saw increased revenue across all five of its product categories and double-digit growth in its products and services segments.
The trillion-dollar rise over the past two years has been driven by diversifying at Apple. When it reached its first trillion, over half of Apple’s revenues came from the iPhone. The company has since reduced that share to 44% against an overall 12% rise in revenues. Wearables and wireless headphones have since driven this growth.
Services, such as music, movies and payment methods also provide regular income not tied to the iPhone cycle.
The move is a vindication for Apple CEO Tim Cook, who succeeded Apple founder Steven Jobs after his death in 2011. Since then, Cook has been behind the diversification away from the iPhone and has presided over a nearly nine-fold increased in Apple’s share value.
Cook recently reached a net worth of $1 billion, holding 847,969 shares in Apple.