Putting Apple’s $1 trillion valuation into perspective — as a separate stock market it would be the world’s 15th largest! – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise3rd November 2018
The market value of Apple’s stock has been in the news lately, first in early August for being the first US company to reach a valuation of $1 trillion, see reports of that important financial milestone from the Washington Post, Bloomberg, and USA Today. Today Apple has been in the news because its shares have dropped by 7% in today’s trading, “after the smartphone manufacturer… delivered a disappointing forecast and announced that it will no longer provide unit-sales figures for the iPhone and other hardware products.” That drop in share price lowered Apple’s market capitalization by about $70 billion to slightly below $1 trillion this afternoon ($996.8 billion at 3 p.m.).
To help put $1 trillion in market cap in perspective, I created the table above yesterday when Apple’s market cap was at $1.07 trillion. As the table shows, Apple as its own “country” or “stock market” would rank as the world’s 15th largest country stock market by stock market capitalizations at the end of September, according to data from the World Federation of Exchanges a London-based trade association of 63 publicly regulated stock, futures, and options exchanges. For countries like the US, China, Taiwan and India with more than one major stock market, I’ve combined those into a single market cap for those countries. Even with today’s drop, Apple’s valuation is still slightly ahead of the $988 billion market cap of South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and so maintains its rank as the world’s No. 15 largest “stock market.” The data in the table also show that Apple’s valuation is greater than the market cap of entire national stock markets like Spain ($810 billion), Brazil ($800 billion) and Russia ($650 billion).
For some other interesting comparisons, if you added either Microsoft’s valuation ($817 billion) or Amazon ($816) to Apple, either of those two-company US stock portfolios at $1.8 trillion would be the world’s tenth largest “stock market.” And if you combined Apple ($997 billion) with Microsoft ($817 billion), Amazon ($816 trillion) and Google/Alphabet ($743 billion), the combined value of $3.4 trillion would rank those four US companies as No. 7 for the world’s largest stock markets.
Bottom Line: If we assume that a company’s market value reflects the value it creates (and will create in the future) for consumers through its products, there’s never been a US company in history that has benefited and created more value for consumers than Apple. And the fact that the market values of US-based companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google are greater than most other countries’ entire stock markets is a testament to the remarkable success of the greatest value-creating enterprise that has ever existed — the US economy.