Apple shares hit $500 for the first time

February 13, 2012

Apple shares broke $500 for the first time on Monday, jumping 25 percent in six months after the hot tech stock passed the $400 mark in July.

The stock opened at $499.53, immediately jumped to $501 and continued to hover around the $500 mark in morning trading. As of 10:30 a.m., the stock was trading around $498 per share.

The tech stock has been steadily climbing, seeing a boost ahead of the rumored release of the iPad 3 in early March.

In its last quarter, Apple reported record quarterly revenue and earnings after a strong holiday season.

Sales of iPads were up 111 percent over the same period last year; sales of iPhones were up 128 percent over the previous year. Mac sales were also strong, up 26 percent over the previous year, with 5.2 million sold.

The Cupertino, Calif., company is worth more than $460 billion and has an astonishing $97.6 billion in cash. In January, Apple executive Peter Oppenheimer said that the company is looking for ways to use that cash, promising that Apple won’t let it “burn a hole in our pockets.”

Apple is on a tear that outpaces even its torrid stock growth. While the stock has risen nearly 40 percent in the last year, revenue has grown 73 percent.

Not only has the company passed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company on the market, it’s also more than recovered from a rare miss in October when the it reported lower-than-expected iPhone sales and shares dropped as much as 6 percent in after-hours trading.

Since reporting its first-quarter results in January, Apple shares have climbed steadily and grown roughly 17 percent in the past month.

According to Bloomberg, on the S&P 500 index, only Google and Priceline cost more per share as of Monday’s open with prices of $612.33 and $549.55, respectively.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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