Apple hits record market capitalisation of $1 trillion

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However, Apple CEO Tim Cook does not think shareholder value is the most important aspect.

To be sure, past stock gains are not a reliable predictor of future performance, and the surge in Amazon shares in recent years has been exceptional by most standards.

One of five U.S. companies since the 1980s to take a turn as Wall Street's largest company by market capitalisation, Apple could lose its lead to the likes of Alphabet Inc or Inc if it does not find a major new product or service as global demand for smartphones loses steam.

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Oil giant PetroChina briefly topped a trillion dollar valuation in 2007 when its stock began trading in Shanghai, but shares quickly plunged afterward.

Shortly before noon EDT. on Thursday, Aug. 2, Apple's stock hit $207.05 per share, giving it a market capitalization at that trillion-dollar mark.

Jackson estimated Apple's value closer to $1.5 trillion, and he views it as a service-oriented company, much like Salesforce and Google, which get traded at roughly six times price-to-sales multiple. Amazon is worth almost $900 billion while Google and Microsoft are each now worth more than $800 billion.

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Apple co-founder Jobs envisioned breakthrough hardware and software architecture where the Apple users never have to leave the company's ecosystem.

For example, last year, he received $89 million worth of shares (560,000 shares at approximately $160 per share) because Apple shares' three-year appreciation exceeded that of two-thirds of the S&P 500 companies. While we have much to be proud of in this achievement, it's not the most important measure of our success.

"Financial returns are simply the result of Apple's innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values", Cook said in the memo. It now accounts for 4 percent of the S&P 500.

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"Steve founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges - and that the people who are insane enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do", Cook wrote in the memo. In today's world, our mission is more important than ever...