Apple hits record $775 billion in market cap before disappointing earnings

Key Points
  • Apple briefly hit a market capitalization of more than $776.59 billion on Tuesday
  • However, it reported $52.9 billion in revenue versus the $53.02 billion estimate. The stock dropped about 1.5 percent after hours.
What the charts say about Apple earnings

Apple hit an all-time high before posting earnings that disappointed Wall Street.

The company's stock was down about 1.5 percent after its quarterly revenue did not hit projections. The company posted $52.9 billion in revenue, versus the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $53.02 billion. Earns per share were higher than expected at $2.10, compared to $2.02. Its market cap slipped to $765 billion during after hours trading due to the poor results.

Apple briefly hit a market capitalization of more than $776.59 billion on Tuesday, topping its previous peak market value of $774.91 billion to remain the only U.S.-listed stock with a market value of more than $700 billion. Even with other tech stocks near record highs, Apple dwarfs Alphabet, at $646.6 billion, Microsoft at nearly $536.4 billion and Amazon at $451.5 billion, according to FactSet.

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It's been a long two-year road for Apple, which again breached the $700 billion mark after falling briefly below Alphabet in 2016 as Apple posted its first year-over-year revenue drop since 2001. Since then, Apple's iPhone sales have rebounded thanks to better-than-expected demand for the iPhone 7 Plus, executives say.

Boosted by the rising tide of record highs in the U.S. markets, Apple hit a record intraday share price Tuesday ahead of its quarterly earnings report after the bell.

But despite busting record-high share prices, Apple has until now fallen short of its all-time high market capitalization, since market value is determined by stock price multiplied by shares outstanding. Apple currently has 5.25 billion shares outstanding, compared with the 5.76 billion shares outstanding it had in March 2015, according to FactSet, as the company has approved share repurchases.

Apple may announce that it bought back more shares during the quarter after Tuesday's earnings report, further tempering the record market capitalization.

Here's Apple's ascent over the past 30 years (source: FactSet): 

Correction: This story was revised to correct the number of Apple's shares outstanding. It currently has 5.25 billion shares outstanding and had 5.76 billion shares outstanding in March 2015.