After a year of volatility and investments from players Einhorn and Icahn, AAPL stock is approaching its high for the year of $549/share.

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AAPL saw a meteoric rise across 2011 and early 2012, but the stock faltered across 2013 over investor concerns of slowing growth and continuing doubts about Apple’s ability to innovate and compete against its competitors. The stock price opened 2013 at 549.02 on January 2nd but immediately headed south from there, hitting 440 by the 25th of the month.

Share price growth across 2013 has been effectively flat. In June at D11, Tim Cook characterized the depressed stock price as “frustrating”.  The stock has dipped to as low as $385 in April and has slowly gained across the latter half of this year, propelled by steady earnings and the accelerated share repurchase and dividend program.

Despite these uncertainties, Apple has maintained its title as the most valuable company by market cap, currently resting at around $490 billion dollars. By comparison, Silicon Valley neighbor Google is the now the third most valuable company in the world, with a market cap of $355 billion dollars.

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