Apple becomes first $3 trillion company after pandemic growth

Apple has become the world’s first $3 trillion company after an extraordinary rally in its shares during the pandemic.

Apple has become the world’s first $3 trillion company after an extraordinary rally in its shares during the pandemic.

The iPhone maker’s valuation cleared the unprecedented marker little over a year after it first surpassed $2 trillion.

Shares in the technology group, the world’s largest publicly traded company, have swelled by some 40 per cent over the past year. On Monday the company’s shares rose to an all-time high of $182.88 in mid-day trading before drifting lower. At the close, Apple’s shares were $4.44, or 2.5 per cent higher at $182.01.

The world’s most valuable company is the first to reach the milestone as investors bet that consumers will continue to shell out for expensive iPhones, MacBooks and other gadgets and services such as Apple TV and Apple Music.

Apple’s march from $2 trillion to $3 trillion in market value took just over 16 months as its stock roared higher, leading a group of large technology companies that benefited as people relied heavily on tech during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Apple, founded in 1976, is based in Cupertino, California, and has been a listed company for more than four decades. It makes iPhones, which typically generate half of its overall sales, as well as iPad tablets and Mac computers. It also sells software through the Apple store, storage space via the iCloud and provides services such as its music, television and fitness subscription platforms.

In recent months investors have looked beyond the disruption wrought by global supply chain issues amid robust demand for its devices and services.

Bullish analysts await a series of new releases from the company, including a set of augmented reality glasses. Speculation also continues about Apple’s plans to start manufacturing cars, despite the refusal of its executives to discuss its automotive ambitions.

Tim Cook, 61, has served as chief executive of Apple for the past decade. Shares in the company have surged over the past two years as it navigated setbacks dealt during the Covid-19 crisis, including fluctuating demand and production line issues.

Only in October, Cook cautioned that supply constraints had been greater than expected in the previous quarter and warned that a chip shortage — already knocking the production of most of its hardware — could worsen during the rest of the year.

Shortly afterwards, Apple fleetingly lost its status as the world’s biggest listed business to Microsoft. The two companies have been jostling in the market capitalisation rankings for more than a decade. Apple swiftly regained its crown.

Dan Ives, a technology analyst at Wedbush, hailed “another watershed moment” for Apple and claimed that Wall Street is beginning to “better appreciate” the robust fundamentals that will boost it during 2022. He has a target price of $200 for Apple’s shares.

“The company continues to prove the doubters wrong with the renaissance of growth story playing out in Cupertino,” Ives wrote in a note, arguing that Apple’s growing services division is “the linchpin” for the ascent of its shares.