Apple closes at record market value

February 11, 2015 08:15 AM

The world’s largest company by market capitalization got a little bit bigger Tuesday.

Apple Inc., which began flirting with a record valuation of $700 billion during midday trading in November, ended the day at $710.7 billion, marking the first time a U.S. company has reached that milestone. Shares rose 1.9% to $122.02 at the close in New York.

Analysts have a 12-month average target price of $132.56, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The highest target was $165, issued by First Shanghai Securities Ltd. on Feb. 3. The shares rose less than 1 percent in premarket trading to $122.50 at 8:50 a.m. New York time.

At Tuesday’s close, the iPhone maker was more than twice as valuable as longtime rival Microsoft Corp. Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s next-biggest company, has a market capitalization of $385.4 billion.

Optimism about Apple has been growing since Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook revealed larger-screened, more expensive iPhones in September, which helped fuel a record profit during the last three months of 2014. China, where revenue rose 70%, is helping to fuel the jump in revenue.

“Given Apple’s powerful iPhone cycle, a big 4G ramp in China and the upcoming launch of Apple Watch in April, we believe there is still plenty to look forward to at Apple during this transformational cycle,” Brian White, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, wrote in a note to investors.

Apple is also preparing to ship its first new product line to debut under Cook’s leadership -- the Apple Watch, which has further stoked interest in the Cupertino, California-based company.


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