Apple Becomes First U.S. Company to Hit $1 Trillion Market Cap

Apple hit a market cap of $1 trillion on Thursday, and hung onto the record valuation at market close, as the tech giant became the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach $1 trillion, CNBC writes.

The stock gained 2.92 percent during trading after a strong fiscal third-quarter earnings report earlier this week to close at $207.39. It reached the trillion-dollar milestone just before noon ET with a share price of $207.05, based on a recently adjusted outstanding share count of 4,829,926,000 shares.

Investors had previously been looking for a share price of $203.45 to push Apple across the finish line in the race to $1 trillion, but the company’s hefty stock buybacks moved the threshold higher Wednesday.

CNBC adds that Amazon had also been approaching the threshold, surpassing $900 billion in market value in July. Apple, however, had quite the head start, hitting $900 billion in November.

Getting to this position from the company’s modest beginnings was hardly guaranteed, Bloomberg notes. Apple was months from bankruptcy before its founder Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1997, having been forced out more than a decade earlier, and began what seemed then a quixotic bid to turn things around.

First came the candy-colored iMacs, then the iPod and then, of course, the iPhone. In 2011, Jobs died, and Apple watchers wondered if his successor, Tim Cook, could keep the magic going. Turns out he could, though his tenure owes less to visionary Jobsness and more to canny stewardship of such nerdy things as supply chains, pricing and a push into services, Bloomberg notes.

It’s easy to forget that Apple was once a niche brand, compared with Microsoft Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. Investors who smelled a good thing in 1980, when Apple went public at $22 a share, have enjoyed a more than 40,000 percent return, according to Bloomberg data.

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