Apple briefly becomes 2nd biggest company in the world

September 24, 2010

As Apple stock continues a space-shuttle-like rise that started in 2007 and has not slowed, even for a worldwide recession, it became the second biggest company in the world (by market cap) for a brief period.

At one point yesterday, Apple passed PetroChina as the second biggest company in the world, at least as measured by its market cap (market capitalization). That is not a real complicated calculation that you need an MBA for; a company’s market cap is simply its price per share of stock multiplied by the number of shares outstanding. By this measure, which is one that many investors see as the most important measure, Apple was second only to Exxon Mobil Corp. for a period of time yesterday, though it fell back to number three by the end of the trading day, according to a Bloomberg story.

The price of a share of stock in Apple has more than tripled since the company introduced the iPhone in January of 2007. For a while yesterday, one share cost $292.76. It fell back to $288.92 at the end of the day, but that left it still not far behind PetroChina. This situation is fairly amazing for a company that was viewed by some as nothing more than an also-ran computer manufacturer a few short years ago. The iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad have changed that image, and oh by the way, Apple’s sales of computers is way up as well.

Depending on which analyst you listen to, Apple is either likely to continue growing at its present rate or may begin to fall down due to the weight of their momentum and the competition. Of course, that is just what analysts have been saying during the meteoric rise of Apple all through the last three years. If analysts knew, they would have all bought tons of Apple stock three years ago and would not need a job today. My advice? Find a comfortable chair, make some popcorn, and sit back and watch the show.

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