Published August 21, 2012
Apple (AAPL) on Monday became the most valuable U.S. company in history — sort of. The company’s market capitalization surpassed the previous record of about $619 billion achieved by Microsoft (MSFT) in December 1999, though that figure balloons to $842.5 billion when accounting for inflation. According to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, Apple will soon become the most valuable company of all time with or without inflation as its market cap sails to $1 trillion and beyond.
In a note to investors on Tuesday, White called Apple the “trillion dollar baby.” According to the analyst, the upcoming launches of three major new products — the “iPhone 5,” the “iPad mini” and Apple’s rumored upcoming HDTV — alongside a potential China Mobile deal will propel Apple shares and drive the company’s market cap to $1 trillion.
“In June, analysts and market pundits expressed growing concern that Apple would succumb to the $500 billion ‘market cap flu’ and the stock would finally roll over,” White wrote to clients. “In a note on June 18, we highlighted why we felt this was a fallacious argument and pointed out that investors should think of Apple’s market cap in terms of ‘trillions’ and not ‘billions’. Based on our calculations, Apple is now the most valuable company ever, finally surpassing the market value of Microsoft at the peak, and removing a key sentiment barrier for the stock.”
Beyond the company’s market cap, White believes these new devices will also help Apple become the most profitable company in history.
“With the help of blockbuster product launches on the horizon with the iPhone 5, ‘iPad Mini’, Apple TV and potential China Mobile relationship, we believe Apple is on a path to generate the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company ever by at least CY13,” White said. “On average, we estimate Apple’s net income in CY12 will be over 5.6x higher than the three tech companies on an individual basis (when at $500 billion) or 1.7x the aggregate profit of these three companies combined.”
White reiterated his Buy rating on Apple shares with a 12-month price target of $1,111.