Apple Becomes World's 1st Private-Sector Company Worth $1 Trillion The tech giant and the world's most valuable publicly traded company became first to reach the milestone market value. Amazon is also approaching $1 trillion in value, but Apple got there first.
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Apple Becomes World's 1st Private-Sector Company Worth $1 Trillion

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Apple Becomes World's 1st Private-Sector Company Worth $1 Trillion

Apple Becomes World's 1st Private-Sector Company Worth $1 Trillion

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

OK, Apple has become the first private sector company to be worth a trillion dollars. That's after its share price hit an all-time high today. Reporter Ryan Kailath has the story now that he's worked out exactly how many zeroes are in 1 trillion.

RYAN KAILATH, BYLINE: Twelve zeros, as it happens. You need four commas for a trillion dollars. Apple hit the figure when its share price jumped more than 8 percent this week. That's after the company reported strong quarterly earnings driven mostly by iPhone sales. The trillion and change is actually Apple's market capitalization. That's what you get when you multiply the number of shares by the share price. It's a historic moment, and the talking heads are talking.

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: But yes, we officially hit it. We officially made history today. Apple did.

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Apple just hit a trillion dollars in market value.

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: For the first time in history, a company is worth $1 trillion.

KAILATH: So big deal - super meaningful, right?

KIM FORREST: Kind of unimportant.

KAILATH: Kim Forrest is a portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital, and she says the number's largely symbolic. Apple doesn't unlock any new capitalist superpowers now that it's crossed the threshold. It just sounds cool. If anything, it means the company can borrow more money if it wants. Forrest likens it to, well, being rich.

FORREST: The bigger your house, the more you can borrow against it because the lender thinks that your house is going to be worth more tomorrow than it is today.

KAILATH: Some investors think this is actually a bad thing, a sign that Apple's stock is overvalued. Forrest says, maybe, but she adds Apple's got revenue on the books to back up its high valuation unlike some of its fancy tech sector peers. Some of those peers are likely to join Apple in the four-comma club. Amazon's close. But in the history books, you rarely learn who came in second. For NPR News, I'm Ryan Kailath.

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