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Update: Apple first US company to reach $1 trillion market capitalization

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Update: Apple first US company to reach $1 trillion market capitalization

Apple Inc. became the first publicly traded U.S. company to hit $1 trillion in market capitalization Aug. 2, driven by positive reaction to the tech giant's latest quarterly earnings results.

The stock touched the $207.04 share price needed to reach its $1 trillion milestone by midday Aug. 2 and kept climbing, closing the session at $207.39 per share, for a market capitalization solidly in the 13-figure territory based on Apple's 4,829,926,000 shares outstanding as of July 20. Apple disclosed the latest share count in a Form 10-Q filed Aug. 1.

Apple's stock surged in recent days after the company on July 31 reported results for its fiscal third quarter, which ended June 30. The company's June quarter results highlighted strong iPhone sales and solid growth trends in the company's services business. Apple's market value just prior to the after-market earnings release was $919.09 billion, based on a July 31 closing price of $190.29 per share.

The company's consolidated net sales for the June quarter rose 17% year over year to $53.27 billion, up from $45.41 billion a year ago and above the S&P Capital IQ consensus revenue forecast of $52.43 billion. IPhone unit shipments totaled 41.3 million, generating sales revenue of $29.91 billion for the quarter, up 20% from the year-ago period. Revenue from Apple's services business was up 31% year over year to $9.55 billion, a new high point for the segment.

The next closest companies in the race to $1 trillion all had a valuation in the $800-million range as of the close of U.S. markets on Aug. 1. They included Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Amazon, the closest, was valued at $876.55 billion as of market close on Aug. 1. Its shares would need to reach $2,050.27 for a $1 trillion valuation. Amazon's shares closed Aug. 2 at $1,834.33.

Alphabet, valued at $853.22 billion as of market-close Aug. 1, must reach a share price of $1,437.45 to hit the $1 trillion mark. Alphabet's class A common shares closed Aug. 2 at $1,241.13. Microsoft, which had a market value of $815.91 billion as of Aug. 1, must reach $130.26 per share to achieve $1 trillion. The company's shares ended Aug. 2 trading at $107.57.

Facebook, which was considered a contender in the $1 trillion race until recently, ranks as the fifth-largest technology company by value but trailed the competition considerably with a market value of $495.59 billion as of Aug. 1. Its share price, which closed at $176.37 on Aug. 2, would need to reach $346.35 for a $1 trillion market valuation.

Facebook lost over $100 billion in market value when the company's stock dropped by about 19% on July 26, the day after it reported lower-than-expected revenue and executives said platform investments would weigh on profits in the near-term. Management attributed part of Facebook's slowed growth to implementing new privacy options for users as well as investing in its Facebook Stories feature, which does not collect the same amount of money as ads shown in the Facebook News Feed.

Alphabet has also encountered its own challenges in 2018. The European Commission in July hit the tech company's Google unit with a record fine for alleged violations of EU antitrust laws in relation to the tech giant's Android mobile operating system.

Meanwhile, Amazon and Microsoft set new stock highs this year. Amazon's stock hit a new 52-week high of $1,880.05 per share on July 27, one day after the company posted its highest ever quarterly net profit and a diluted EPS that came in well over Wall Street estimates.

Microsoft on July 25 reached a 52-week high of $111.15 per share, about a week after the tech company delivered strong results in its cloud business during the fiscal fourth quarter.

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