The world's most valuable company could become a lot more valuable if history is any indication.
With its recent run, Apple's total market capitalization is now above $750 billion. And while that figure boggles some traders' minds, a closer look at the singular mega-cap leaders of the S&P 500 throughout the last 30 years suggests that Apple's market value could balloon to more than $1 trillion.
According to data from Standard & Poor's senior index analyst, Howard Silverblatt, Apple represents about 4.05 percent of the S&P 500's total value. Even though that constitutes a relatively large portion of the market, no less than five other companies have achieved higher percentages of the S&P 500's total market cap since 1980, including IBM, AT&T, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft and General Electric.
In fact, according to Silverblatt's data, at one point in 1983, IBM's market cap represented just over 6 percent of the total value of the S&P 500. That number climbed to 6.37 percent by the end of 1985, making it the highest percentage for any single company since 1980. At that time, IBM was 2.35 times larger than the next biggest company, Exxon Mobil. Apple's market cap is currently 2 times that of Microsoft, the next-largest company.
If Apple were to achieve the same percentage of the total market that IBM did in 1985, its market cap would be a staggering $1.28 trillion dollars. That would put Apple's stock at roughly $219 per share, according to Silverblatt.
So can Apple actually get to that level?
After Monday's earnings beat, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White upped his price target on the stock to $195 per share, which would bring the company's market cap closer to IBM's percentage of the S&P 500 in 1985.
But not everyone agrees that Apple will continue its big run to the upside. "Fast Money" trader Karen Finerman said on Monday that while she's long the stock, she feels it could be running out of steam. Dan Nathan of RiskReversal.com said sales growth could be slowing, and the stock is "starting to look fully valued."