Apple Inching Toward $3 Trillion Market Capitalization

Apple Inching Toward $3 Trillion Market Capitalization
Apple CEO Tim Cook unveils Apple Watch Series 7 during a special event at Apple Park in Cupertino, Calif., on Sept. 14, 2021. (Apple Inc/Handout via Reuters)
Naveen Athrappully

The world’s most valuable company is on the cusp of achieving another milestone as it inches towards a $3 trillion market capitalization after a surge in growth since 2019 saw the share price increase more than 370 percent.

Apple is currently trading around $175 after closely approaching the $182.86 mark needed to achieve the $3 trillion valuation on Monday. The share price is currently 3.6 percent lower than the high on Monday. Over the past week, from Dec. 3 to 10, the price went up around 10.9 percent. The year-to-date gains are over 35 percent. Since a low was hit in October, the company has gained more than $700 billion in valuation.

Consumers flush with disposable incomes, COVID-19 pandemic-related technology reliance, and a loyal core fan base ensures that Apple tech is enthusiastically adopted regardless of relatively expensive prices when compared with brands having similar specifications.

Excitement for new Apple products helped the company weather the Omicron price disruption that affected global stock prices including Meta, Amazon, and Google, which all closed down while Apple was up 3.1 percent after the variant announcement.

With over $100 billion in cash flow, Apple has long been one of the safest and most reliable bets for investors, an increase of 20 percent from 2020. Since the 1990s, the stock has returned, on average, 22 percent yearly, compared to the S&P’s 9 percent.

New Launches

J.P. Morgan had raised Apple’s 2022 price target expectation from $180 to $210 citing high demand and new launches. Sales for the iPhone 13 sales have been strong and the affordable iPhone SE with 5G connectivity is set to hit the market early next year.
“We believe the focus on the iPhone 13 demand and supply situation is driving investors to underappreciate the relevance of the 5G iPhone SE to the FY22 product cycle,” analyst Samik Chatterjee said.

Other new products include augmented reality glasses, which are set to debut next year, a virtual reality headset, and self-driving cars in 2025.

An Apple car has long been in the works, but recent reports from the company indicating an accelerated push for a 2025 launch date have driven up prices for the stock.

“That’s really what I think that the investors are betting on, because this is going to be their next act. … Apple obviously has the history of creating transformative products in the digital space,” Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Thursday.

As for other tech companies, Microsoft, with a valuation of around $2.6 trillion, is $300 billion behind Apple and is the second-largest stock on Wall Street. It was the world’s most valuable company in October.

Compromises with China

The current market capitalization has also been attributed to significant sales coming in from China, where Apple manufactures most of its products. According to secret documents reportedly seen by The Information, Apple CEO Tim Cook agreed to $275 billion in China over five years to aid Chinese manufacturers to develop advanced technology and supporting talent in the communist-controlled nation.

The secret agreement with Beijing promised that Apple would “use more components from Chinese suppliers in its devices, sign deals with Chinese software firms, collaborate on technology with Chinese universities and directly invest in Chinese tech companies,” according to The Information’s Wayne Ma.

Meanwhile, Apple is lobbying the U.S. government, alongside Nike and Coca-Cola, against the bill that opposes importing goods made with forced Uyghur labor.