Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) market cap hit $825 billion last week, up 47% over the past year. The surge makes it nearly impossible that the market caps of other large techs will catch it, certainly not anytime in the foreseeable future. There had been speculation that Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) or Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) might top Apple, but those forecasts have withered.
Apple’s performance is particularly impressive when measured against the other huge tech companies. Alphabet’s shares are up 18% in the past year, which has taken its market cap to $645 billion. Microsoft’s is higher by 25% to $561 billion. Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FB) is up 35% to $483 billion, while Amazon.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) is up 26% to $454 billion. That means Apple’s market cap is 82% higher than Amazon’s.
Apple’s shares could rally much more. Several analysts expect its market cap to reach $1 trillion by the end of 2017. If the sales of the new iPhone 8 reach unprecedented levels, compared to other iPhone launches, those forecasts could be true.
RBC’s Amit Daryanani and Amitesh Bajad recently commented, according to Barron’s Tech Trader Daily:
From a near-term perspective, we would note historically AAPL stock has done rather well into product launches with median return 90 days prior to launch @15.6% (median outperformance vs. S&P500 at 10.9%). This, we think, sets up AAPL well heading into the product cycle this time around. Fundamentally, given a strong gross-margin performance and better trends out of mainland China in Sept-qtr should give investors comfort that AAPL remains on track to not just see strong revenue growth but also outsized EPS growth over the next 12 months. Net/Net: We think AAPL remains on track to become the first company to achieve and sustain >$1.0Trillion market cap and should sustain upside bias through and beyond iPhone launch.
None of the other tech companies with large market caps have this sort of signature product launch, which makes Apple’s ongoing dominance all the more likely.