As of November 24, 2014, Apple Inc had the largest market valuation of any company in the world. This morning, November 25, the company's value hit $700 billion, retaining its title and setting a new record for market valuation. To put Apple's success into perspective, the second most valuable company at the moment is Exxon Mobil Corp, with a current market valuation of $405 billion.
Apple has had an incredibly profitable year thanks to September's record-breaking sales of its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which sold over 10 million units in just the first weekend of sales. The new product push continued in October with the release of two new models of the iPad. Finally, the company introduced the world to Apple Pay, which is already accounting for almost 1% of sales transactions at Whole Foods since it launched and is quickly being adopted by other retailers.
Things are going well for Apple. According to Bloomberg analyst Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald, Apple's recent growth wasn't just about its own products, but the competition's as well:
This marks Apple's sixth year in a row where the company has seen a gain in its market valuation. If you were wondering how rival Microsoft is doing this year, its current market valuation stands at $369.7 billion. Microsoft can keep insulting Apple all it wants, but it has some catching up to do.
Given Apple's significant portfolio refresh over the past three months, the lack of innovation from competitors and a constructive spending backdrop in the U.S. market, we believe Apple has opportunity to shine bright this holiday season.