Apple closes above $400, stays ahead of Exxon Mobil in market value
So far, Apple Inc. seems to be doing just fine without Steve Jobs, the man who co-founded the company and later rescued it from bankruptcy to turn it into the world's most valuable technology concern.
Jobs stepped down as chief executive last month, but Apple stock has been on the rise since then, and on Friday closed above the $400 mark, just $4 shy of its all-time high. The company has also maintained its lead above oil giant Exxon Mobile as the world's most valuable company of any kind.
Apple first passed Exxon early last month, at the height of the summer's market turbulence, but Exxon quickly jumped back in front, and they remained neck-and-neck over several weeks. But now Apple seems to be pulling away. It's market capitalization of $371 billion is now nearly $10 billion ahead of Exxon's $362 billion, and the oil company's stock has seen few gains in the last month.
The gains indicated investor satisfaction with Apple, which has continued to sell large numbers of its iPhone 4 devices, even though it's been more than a year since the handset was released. Generally, handset sales slow dramatically after a year, in part because consumers electing to wait for newer technology.
Apple is expected to release the next version of its iPhone in early or mid-October.
-- David Sarno
Photo: Customers stand outside the new Apple Inc. store in the Westfield Stratford City mall in London this week. Credit: Simon Dawson / Bloomberg