Apple's Stock Price Hits $600 Per Share
March 15, 2012

Apple’s Stock Price Hits $600 Per Share

Just a month after its stock hit $500, Apple's share price reached past $600 for the first time on Thursday.

The new milestone comes a day before the company launches its next-generation iPad to the public.

Apple's shares touched $600.01 shortly after the ringing of the opening bell at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.

The company's stock-price has gained 57 percent in the past three months, and 73 percent over the past year.

The new iPad will be setting Apple up to sell 65.6 million iPads this year, according to analysts at Canaccord Genuity.

"We believe Apple has extended its leadership position in the fast-growing tablet market," Canaccord Genuity said in a note to investors. "We believe the new iPad has raised the bar relative to competing tablets."

The new iPad is being sold at the same prices as previous models for $499, offering a new high-resolution display screen and better graphics for gaming.  Apple also dropped the price of the previous iPad 2 model to $399.

The new iPad will go on sale Friday in the U.S. and nine other countries.  Next week, the iPads will be available in nearly 30 more countries.

Apple is now within $50 billion of claiming the "most valuable publicly traded company ever" title from Microsoft.

Microsoft had a peak market cap of $604 billion during the dot-com boom in December 1999.  When adjusted for inflation, Microsoft would have been worth $813.42 billion in January 2012, and Apple would have to reach $873 per share in order to surpass that total.

Currently, Apple holds the title of the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, worth nearly $560 billion, more than $150 billion higher than second-place Exxon Mobil.