Apple becomes the first company to reach $3 trillion market cap

Apple’s cash flow also makes the stock a safe haven during times of market uncertainty.

Apple hit a market cap of $3 trillion briefly during intraday trading on Monday before dropping back shortly afterwards. Apple broke the barrier when its share price hit $182.86 and rose 2.5% on Monday to close at $182.01, just missing closing the trading day at the $3 trillion mark.

The symbolic milestone shows that investors remain bullish on Apple stock and its growing ability. The value of Apple tripled in under four years with a market value of $3 trillion. Apple showed annual growth in its fourth-quarter earnings, with revenue up 29% year-over-year. The iPhone is still the biggest sales driver; Apple’s services business grew 25.6% year-over-year and delivered more than $18 billion in revenue during the quarter.

In December, Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty raised the firm’s price target on Apple from $164 to $200 and maintained the equivalent of a buy rating, arguing that new products like virtual reality and augmented reality headsets aren’t yet baked into the share price. Huberty also said she expects Apple’s App Store revenue to outperform Morgan Stanley’s forecasts for the quarter and for Apple to ship 83 million units during the December quarter, 3 million more than anticipated.

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Over the holidays, Apple sold 27 million pairs of its newest AirPods model, driving 20% year-over-year growth for Apple’s wearables business during the quarter, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TFI Asset Management Limited said in a Monday note. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that the mark is a “watershed moment” but has more room to grow, especially since Ives values Apple’s services business at $1.5 trillion.

Investors also turned to Apple as a safe haven during recent market uncertainty, thanks to its strong balance sheet and prodigious cash flow, which it uses to invest in new products, stock buybacks, and return capital to shareholders through dividends. Apple became the first publicly traded US company to hit a $1 trillion market cap during intraday trading on 2 August 2018. It hit a $2 trillion valuation just over two years later, on 19 August 2020.

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Apple’s peers aren’t far behind. Microsoft is worth about $2.5 trillion, Amazon has about a $1.75 market cap, and Google’s market valuation is just shy of $2 trillion. Apple’s stock rose 34% in 2021.


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