Business: Apple becomes first US company to top $800 billion market cap

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 13:45

Apple's record-setting market value eclipsed $800 billion for the first time Tuesday, and its relentless march on Wall Street could take it to $1 trillion later this year.

Shares of the iPhone maker have soared 33% this year, and nearly 40% since the presidential election in November.

On Tuesday, they inched up to $153.96, giving Apple a closing market cap of $802.8 billion — large enough to make it one of the top-20 countries, by gross domestic product,  based on estimates from the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook.

In early-morning trading Wednesday, Apple shares were down slightly.

"We believe a valuation north of $1 trillion could be realized at some point should investor sentiment continue to improve and certain factors play out in Apple’s favor," says Angelo Zino, senior equity analyst at CFRA Research.

Those factors, he says, include a better-than-expected iPhone cycle, continued growth of the Apple Services division, and a favorable tax reform/repatriation outcome leading to greater return of cash to shareholders.

Apple, which passed $700 billion in market value more than two years ago, is the first U.S. company to pass the $800-billion mark.

Apple shares have benefited greatly from stock buybacks: Over the past four years, the company has shaved its actual share count by 20.9%, according to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices.