Fifteen years ago, Apple Computer was struggling to stay out of the red. But since the return of Steve Jobs in 1997, Apple has become a tech superpower that continuously provides new and innovative products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Its gadgets and software are a hit with many consumers, and it shows as Apple reports successful figures quarter after fiscal quarter. Now, Apple's success went a step further as it jumped ahead of ExxonMobil as the most valuable company in the United States today.
According to Barron's, Apple's stock reached $369.89 with a market cap of $342.8 billion, which is based on 927 million shares. Exxon, on the other hand, fell to $68.78 with a market cap of $334.41 billion. This occurred just this afternoon around 1 p.m., making Apple the richest stock in the world for a moment in time.
More recent reports say Exxon is back at $341.82 billion in market cap while Apple is at $338.59 billion. But with Apple down 10 percent after a 52-week high of $404.50, its possible that it may beat the world's biggest oil company once again.
A benefit that Apple has over Exxon is its ability to continue releasing products that consumers love, where the oil company has very limited growth prospects that are driven by the discovery of new oil and fluctuating oil prices.
"This all goes back to Apple's distillation when it changed its name from Apple Computer, to Apple, and their role as a technology influencer in everything we touch," said Charles Golvin, an analyst specializing in mobile technology for Forrester Research. "Over the years, Apple has become a massive force on our digital lifestyles, and the way that we connect with each other."