Apple’s blockbuster holiday quarter sent shares to an all-time high of $431 a share, which is enough to close in on a market valuation of $400 billion. However, that was last month. Today, AAPL briefly passed a record $460 billion market cap with new historical stock price high at $493.97 a share. Exxon Mobil Corporation’s [XOM] market valuation is just $402.72 billion. Analysts featured on Bloomberg Television said Apple is an “absolute phenomenon.”
Both Needham and Canaccord raised their price target for Apple shares to $620 and $650, respectively, maintaining a Buy rating on the stock. At the current market cap, Apple weighs more than 10 percent of NASDAQ and has 52 times Research In Motion’s [RIMM] valuation of just $8.45 billion.
Apple’s market capitalization is double the size of IBM and almost double the size of Microsoft [MSFT]. Heck, it is now almost the size of IBM and MSFT combined, and it surpassed the joint GOOG ($198.9 billion) and MSFT ($256.7 billion) market cap. However, some analysts still deem the company’s valuation “tepid.”
Oil services giant Halliburton reportedly ditched BlackBerrys in favor of Apple recently, and replaced about 4,500 company-issued BlackBerry phones with Apple’s smartphone. At the Oct. 4, 2011 iPhone 4S introduction, Apple CEO Tim Cook underscored that 93 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying the iPhone. Apple saw record sales of Macs, iPhones and iPads in Q4 2011—partly due to pent-up demand and because the quarter spanned 14 weeks. Pundits expect AAPL to outperform due to an iPad 3 introduction in March, iPhone 5 launch around summer, and iPhone 4S launch in China (also hitting China Telecom this month), including the obligatory seasonal product refreshes. The brave ones are also factoring in the alleged iTV rumored to arrive this or next year.