Apple becomes first U.S. company to reach $3 trillion market cap

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Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to customers before they enter Apple’s flagship 5th Avenue store to purchase the new iPhone 11 on September 20, 2019 in New York City. Apple’s new iPhone 11 goes on sale today at the grand re-opening of the 5th Avenue store.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Apple hit a market cap of $3 trillion during intraday trading on Monday, tripling its valuation in under four years. Apple broke the barrier when its share price hit $182.86.

The milestone is mostly symbolic but it shows investors remain bullish on Apple stock and its ability to grow. Apple showed annual growth across all of its product categories in its fourth-quarter earnings, with revenue up 29% year-over-year.

While the iPhone is still the biggest sales driver, Apple’s services business grew 25.6% year-over-year and delivered more than $18 billion in revenue during the quarter. And analysts see plenty of room to run.

In December, for example, Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty raised the firm’s price target on Apple from $164 to $200, and maintained the equivalent of a buy rating, arguing that new products like virtual reality and augmented reality headsets aren’t yet baked into the share price.

Huberty also said she expects Apple’s App Store revenue to outperform Morgan Stanley’s forecasts for the quarter and for Apple to ship 83 million units during the December quarter, 3 million more than anticipated.

Apple sold 27 million pairs of its newest AirPods model over the holidays, driving 20% year-over-year growth for Apple’s wearables business during the quarter, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TFI Asset Management Limited said in a Monday note.

Investors also turned to Apple as a safe haven during recent market uncertainty, thanks to its strong balance sheet and prodigious cash flow, which it uses to invest in new products, stock buybacks and to return capital to shareholders through dividends.

Apple became the first publicly traded U.S. company to hit a $1 trillion market cap during intraday trading on Aug. 2, 2018. It hit a $2 trillion valuation just over two years later on Aug. 19, 2020.

Apple’s peers aren’t far behind. Microsoft is worth about $2.5 trillion, Amazon has about a $1.75 market cap and Google‘s market valuation is just shy of $2 trillion.

Apple stock is up just under 3% on the day and rose 34% in 2021.

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