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Even at $1 Trillion, Apple May Be Undervalued by Half

03 August 2018

Fast forward 21 years, and today the very company has created the history by becoming the first tech company in the world with a valuation of $1 trillion. And as long as these companies continue to generate long-term earnings growth - as virtually every analyst expects - their share prices will continue to rise over the long haul.

Before the release of the iPhone, Apple was reporting revenue of less than $20bn and profits of less than $2bn from the sale of its Mac personal computers in 2006.

Along the way, it has changed how consumers connect with one another and how businesses conduct daily commerce.

Like the four-minute mile or breaking the sound barrier, the idea of a company with a market capitalization - the share price multiplied by the number of outstanding shares - of more than a trillion dollars was once nearly unthinkable.

Apple's huge growth, is largely thanks to the introduction of its portable devices, in 2001, when the iPod was launched the firm was valued at just $6 billion, this propelled the firm to $106 billion by the time iPhone was introduced.

For context, passing the $1 trillion mark means Apple now has a value greater than the gross domestic product of all but 26 major countries; its value is higher than the GDP of Argentina, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland, among others, according to the CIA's World Factbook.

The Apple Inc. logo is displayed on a monitor outside the Nasdaq Market Site in New York City on Aug. 2 2018.
Peter Foley  Bloomberg
The Apple Inc. logo is displayed on a monitor outside the Nasdaq Market Site in New York City on Aug. 2 2018. Peter Foley Bloomberg

Jobs, who died in 2011, was succeeded as chief executive by Tim Cook, who has doubled the company's profits but struggled to develop a new product to replicate the society-altering success of the iPhone, which has seen sales taper off in recent years. "The five-year chart for all three companies show pretty steady upward climbs, but Alphabet's gains only tally 116 per cent versus almost 500 per cent for Amazon and 220 per cent for Apple", Robert Martin of InvestorPlace Media wrote.

A year ago its sales hit $229bn, with profits of $48.4bn, making it the most profitable listed U.S. company.

Technology companies like Apple, Amazon and Alphabet-the parent company of Google-appear to have taken the lead in high market value.

But a traditional industrial business, The Saudi Arabian Oil Company known as Aramco, could surpass Apple if it carries out plans to offer its stock to the public.

However, there's was a bit of excitement leading up to this milestone: the number of its shares, which is arguably the main player in all these. So who's going to pay for it?

Even at $1 Trillion, Apple May Be Undervalued by Half