When the markets closed this past Friday, Apple’s stock price was up over 8 points and finished the day trading at $218.95 a share, marking the highest share price Apple has ever traded at in its entire history.
There are a few things to take away from this.
One, investors are a fickle bunch. When Steve Jobs actually unveiled the iPad and said that it would start shipping in late March/early April, Apple’s stock price went up a whopping 0.9%. Yesterday, Apple officially announced that the iPad would be available on April 3, and lo and behold, Apple’s share price skyrockets nearly 4% to an all-time high. Go figure.
But more importantly, the meteoric rise of Apple’s share price now puts Apple’s market cap at $198.5 billion, making it the fourth largest publicly traded company in the US behind Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, and Wal-Mart.
Microsoft’s current market cap is $250.7 billion while Exxon Mobil’s market cap comes in at a jaw dropping $314.2 billion. For Apple to catch up to Microsoft, Apple’s share price will need to reach around $276 a share assuming Microsoft’s share price stays somewhat stagnant.
By way of comparison, here are the Market Cap’s from some other tech heavyweights:
• Google – $179.41B
• IBM – $165.30B
• Hewlett-Packard – $122.69B
• Intel – $114.84B
• Amazon – $57.31B
• Nokia – $52.40
• RIM – $38.72B
• Sony – $36.47B
• Dell – $27.16B
• Adobe – $18.43B
• Motorola – $16.07B
• Palm – $956.96M
And below, check out a chart of Apple’s stock price over the last 10+ years
Still, with nearly $40 billion sitting in the bank, and earnings reaching record setting levels quarter after quarter, investors shouldn’t expect to see a dividend from Apple anytime soon. At Apple’s annual shareholder meeting about a week ago, Steve Jobs said that Apple has no plans to issue dividends and that Apple prefers to keep its cash reserves stowed away safely in the bank so that they can make “big, bold” acquisitions when opportunities arise.