Has widened rapidly in the past month, as investors have digested Apple’s report of blow out holiday season sales of iPhone and iPads, and raised their hopes that the company might institute a dividend.
Apple investors are anticipating a sales boost from thecompany’s latest iPad tablet computer, due on March 7.
Apple plans to hold an event on March 7 in San Francisco,where it’s expected to unveil the latest iPad.
Exxon, now worth $411 billion, was worth just over $500 billion for two short stretches at the end of 2007.
Was worth just more than $500 billion briefly at the end of 1999, then again in early 2000.
Apple posted net income last quarter of $13.1 billion, oneof the highest quarterly profits on record, putting it in thesame league as energy companies such as Exxon and Moscow basedOAO Gazprom (OGZPY), data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Apple’s stock accounts for 3.8 percent of the value of the S&P 500 index, according to Standard & Poor’s, and it accounted for 6 percent of the operating income of the 500 companies in the fourth quarter.
Apple stock already makes up a large share of the holdings of technology and growth focused funds, and they have little appetite for more.
Meanwhile, value focused funds are often prevented from buying the shares because the company doesn’t pay a dividend.
Last week, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told shareholders at the annual meeting that the company has more money than it needs, and the board and management are thinking “very deeply” about ways to use the cash.
Former Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, apparently haunted by the company’s lean years in the 90s, had a policy of accumulating cash.
In the first few minutes of trading Wednesday, Apple’s market capitalization climbed near $508 billion as shares rose $8.98, or 1.7 percent, to $544.39.
Brielle Shreiber is a business journalist based in Munich, Germany. Brielle has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Brielle spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.