August 20, 2012 - 21:51 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - As Apple's stock rose to new high on Monday, August 20, the technology giant set another record: It became the most valuable public company in history, CNN reports.
Apple's market value - the price of its stock multiplied by the number of outstanding shares - hit $623 billion in intraday trading. That eclipsed the previous record of $618.9 billion set by Microsoft on Dec. 30, 1999, at the height of the dot-com bubble, according to Howard Silverblatt, S&P's senior index analyst.
Apple shares hit a new record of $664.74 per share. The anticipated September launch of the new iPhone, coupled with rumors of a smaller iPad and a more feature-rich Apple TV have lifted the stock in recent weeks.
It's a stunning achievement for a company that was a struggling also-ran when Microsoft was setting records in the late 1990s. Apple was valued at less than $10 billion as recently as 2004, and at $100 billion just three years ago.
Apple is on pace to be the world's largest technology company in terms of sales by the end of the year, and it's among the most profitable companies in the world. In the last three months of 2011, Apple made $13 billion - second only to ExxonMobil'srecord-setting $14.8 billion quarter from the fall of 2008, when oil prices were at an all-time high.
The company's lightning-quick growth shows no signs of subsiding. With rumors of new gadgets on the horizon, Apple has crossed the $400 billion, $500 billion and $600 billion marks - all in 2012 - as the stock has soared 64% this year.