Apple is now worth $3 trillion

The stock was on track for its fourth straight record high close.
The stock was on track for its fourth straight record high close. Photo credit: Getty Images

Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) market value on Friday breached the $3 trillion mark for the first time since January last year, lifted by signs of improving inflation and bets that the iPhone maker will successfully expand into new markets.

Shares of the world's most valuable company jumped 1.8% to an intraday record high of $193.03, giving it a market capitalization of $3.035 trillion, Refinitiv data showed.

The stock was on track for its fourth straight record high close.

The Cupertino, California-based company's market cap briefly peaked above $3 trillion in intraday trading on Jan. 3, 2022 before closing the session just below that mark.

Heavyweight growth stocks including Apple, Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) and Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) rose sharply on Friday after a Commerce Department report showed the Personal Consumption Expenditure price index advanced less in May than in April, reflecting progress in the Federal Reserve's fight against inflation.

Apple has surged 48% so far in 2023 in a rally by several of Wall Street's most valuable companies, fueled by bets that the Fed is nearing the end of its campaign of interest rate hikes, and by optimism about the potential for artificial intelligence.

Apple's most recent quarterly report in May showed revenue and profits fell but still beat analysts' expectations. Along with a steady track record of stock buybacks, the financial results reinforced its reputation as a safe investment at a time of global economic uncertainty.

"It's a testament to one of the greatest publicly traded companies that's ever existed. It continues to grow and diversify its revenue streams, has shareholder-friendly management, buys back shares, throws off a dividend and has a fortress balance sheet with strong and defendable cash flows," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley Wealth.

Apple's $3 trillion milestone follows the June 5 launch of a pricey augmented-reality headset, its riskiest bet since the introduction of the iPhone more than a decade ago.

The stock has climbed over 6% since then, compared to the S&P 500's (.SPX) 4% rise.

Recent gains in Apple's shares have outpaced analysts' estimates for the company's future earnings. It is now trading at over 29 times expected earnings, its highest since January 2022, according to Refinitiv data. That compares to a median PE ratio of about 13 for the S&P 500 technology index (.SPLRCT).

Four other U.S. companies have valuations of more than $1 trillion - Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Inc (AMZN.O), Nvidia and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), which follows Apple with a market value of $2.5 trillion.

Shares of Tesla and Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) have more than doubled this year, while a 190% gain in shares of Nvidia has catapulted the chipmaker into the trillion-dollar club.