Apple Is Now The World’s Most Valuable Company

At the close of business yesterday, investors thought Apple had more value than any other company: they were willing to pay 363$/share, making the total of all shares worth 337 billion$. The company from which Apple took the number one spot away was Exxon, who had held it since 2005. It turns out the recent debt ceiling crisis was good for Apple, since Exxon lost value due to the falling price of oil in the past week. However, by revenue, HP is still the biggest technology company: it made 32 billion$ last quarter, compared to Apple’s 30. But, investors must be pretty sure Apple has a lot more growth potential, because HP’s valuation is at about 64 billion$, a fifth of Apple’s.

Photo by Jorge Quinteros


Things have changed a lot since 2000, when Microsoft was the most valuable company and Apple was just making it’s way back from the brink of bankruptcy, after hiring back Steve Jobs. In fact, Microsoft and General Electric traded the number 1 spot a few times over the next five years, until 2005 when Exxon took over after the price of oil shot up and the iPod came out. Today, Microsoft isn’t even in the top five. Who is? A Chinese state-owned oil company called PetroChina, the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and an Australian/British oil and gas company called BHP Billiton.

There are two more oil companies in the top 10: Shell (which is officially a British company, but headquartered in the Netherlands) and a Brazilian one called PetroBras. Besides Apple and Microsoft, IBM is the only other technology company in the top 10. And the remaining one? Nestlé, a Swiss company. Five oil companies, three technology ones, one bank, and one food company: that says a lot about what we like as a species. It also says a lot about global pecking order: of the top ten companies, four are American, two British, two Chinese, one Brazilian, and one Swiss.



  1. Apple Is Nowhere Close To Being The Biggest Company | Apt46 - pingback on August 17, 2011 at 6:06 am

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