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March 2, 2012

Apple crosses 500 - Next target 1,000?

Source: Ycharts
Apple added another feather to its hat by crossing US$500bn in market cap for the first time on Wednesday Feb 29th, 2012. It is a historic day for a company, who little under 15 years ago was close to bankruptcy, which was only avoided after an investment by its bitter rival, Microsoft.

According to HispanicBusiness, Apple has become the fifth US company ever to cross US$500bn in market cap. Previously Cisco, Intel, Microsoft (twice) and General Electric had managed to surpass the landmark.

While a few maybe skeptical about how much more Apple's stock can rise, Apple co-founder Steve Woznaik said in an
interview with CNBC  that Apples' stock price can reach US$1,000 (currently just US$542.44). According to him Apple sill has a lot of growth potential.
"Apple is on such a winning course because it's encapsulated all of its different big products that I mentioned, they all work together so well that you are in a course that if you buy a product from another company it doesn't really do as much as one from Apple does. So Apple has a large room for growth...Apple has that much growth left because we're talking something like Apple TV that works with all these other great, great companies and products all in the same sphere."

While Apple has a very strong euphoria going with it, it remains to be seen how much more it can grow. Most companies after reaching the size closer to Apple slow down considerably as not growth opportunity lessens as base becomes so high that most high growth areas don't add any material value to the company. Plus it's not easy managing such a huge company, and past history has shown that blunders do happen. Apple has ~US$100bn in cash and it remains to be seen how Apple is able to utilise it. And if nothing else, then regulatory actions can help pin down companies, like what happened to Microsoft.

Still if Apple's stock price indeed surpasses US$1,000, as Steve Woznaik predicts, then it could well become the most valuable company in history by crossing the holy grail of US$1 trillion in market capitalization, which many companies wanted to, but could never reach.

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