updated 03:10 pm EDT, Wed August 10, 2011
Hit on Apple stocksproves irrelevant
Apple's market capitalization has settled into a stable position over that of Exxon Mobil, giving it an unambiguous ranking as the world's most valuable corporation. On Tuesday the situation was more uncertain, with Apple initially taking the top spot only to have Exxon regain the position. Apple was in the lead by the close of US trading though, and as of this writing on Wednesday the company's cap is sitting at $345.74 billion, noticeably ahead of Exxon's $341.47 billion.
While Exxon still reaps about four times as much revenue as Apple, the latter's market cap achievement has been given a symbolic importance. It first points to the attractiveness and growth of Apple stock, which as recently as 2008 was worth less than $80, but is now valued at about $370. In a longer view it marks a stark contrast with the Apple of the 1990s, when the company teetered on edge of bankruptcy, and the early 2000s, when it was regaining stature but still exploiting its "underdog" image.