Another Major Milestone for Apple

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Last year, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) briefly enjoyed, by market cap, the title of "largest company in the world."

During the selloff that kicked off August, the Mac maker surpassed Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM  ) and became the new king of the hill. After enjoying its time in the sun, a few short months later Apple graciously relinquished the crown back to the oil baron, thanking it for the loaner.

Today, Apple hit a new market-cap milestone as it broke into uncharted territory. As of this writing, Apple's intraday high has been $431.37, and when you multiply that by the 932 million shares outstanding, you'll notice that its market cap reached as high as $402 billion, breaking $400 billion for the first time ever.

Apple Market Cap Chart by YCharts.

Note that the chart above represents market caps based on the previous day's close, as opposed to the intraday figure calculated above for Apple. Exxon still reigns as top dog with roughly a $422 billion market cap, but it's safe to say that Apple is still the largest tech company in the world by market cap. Cupertino topped Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) market cap back in 2010 and has never looked back. The Redmond giant's market cap currently stands near $237 billion.

Looking at revenue on a trailing-12-month basis, Apple has also recently squeezed out a lead over fellow tech giant IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) , while still trying to catch up with Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE: HPQ  ) top line.

When it comes to competing with HP, Apple may be about to swoop in and steal a different title from the embattled PC maker. If you assume that the iPad counts as a PC, which is a distinction debatable from both perspectives, then Apple may be about to claim the name, by shipments, of top PC maker in the world.

With Apple set to report earnings on Tuesday, with hints of a blowout, we'll see how Mac and iPad shipments turn out and whether or not Apple can take the lead.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, International Business Machines, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 19, 2012, at 8:46 PM, dwilh51183 wrote:

    Apple should reach new highs on Wednesday morning and continue on its way to $600.00 a share. Apple should have gained today when google reported that their phone sales slumped compared to apple's gaining market share. Also, Intel beat analysts expectations, probably had a lot to do with IMac sales and iPad sales and whatever else they supply to AAPL ! Here's more proof: Microsoft said that their windows based software or windows pc sales were down. Maybe because AAPL is what college and hs kids want and their imac's don't get viruses. Just a better quality machine. My point here is AAPL sales and earnings will continue to go higher and the stock should too. So sell your crappy stocks and BUY AAPL

  • Report this Comment On January 21, 2012, at 9:17 AM, JacksonInVA wrote:

    Good to see that Microsoft's years of poor quality products is finally hurting them.

  • Report this Comment On January 21, 2012, at 10:33 PM, WeWereWallStreet wrote:

    Re their announcement this week that they want to "disrupt" the schoolbook market.

    Somebody should stop these “innovators” before they destroy another industry without asking anybody. Killing business people’s cell phone companies, Nokia and RIM, is one thing. Killing the companies that educate our children is quite another.

    Kids need iPads instead of books about as much as they need to play video games instead of sports. Being one click away from Facebook, Twitter, et al when you’re supposed to be learning math is a formula for continued deterioration of American educational achievement.

    These guys aren’t in it for society, they’re in it for the sales.

    Someone should put the kibosh on this before the textbook companies are dead and buried. It's frightening to think that disciples of Steve Jobs might control what our kids see.

    Our thoughts on Jobs:

    This text book disruption is a bad thing.

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