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Apple Inc., the world's most valuable company surpassed the $600 billion value mark for the first time on April 10, 2012. The only other company to have achieved such a feat is Microsoft in 1999 when the computing giant briefly crossed the $600 billion mark in the heydays of the dot-com bubble (December 30, 1999). Apple shares hit $US644 on Tuesday, April 10, up 1.2 per cent from Monday's close. On Monday, Apple Inc. had expressed willingness to buy Instagram, the photo sharing and editing application for $1 billion. Instagram was eventually acquired by Facebook.

On April 10, Apple stocks were up 59% since January indicating that despite its huge market capitalization, Apple's stocks had perhaps been undervalued vis-a-vis its enormous profits. Again in August, Apple stocks hit a historic high of $645.48. Later, in September 2012, Apple stocks reached the highest yet - $705.The subsequent slump has led market watchers to speculate wildly. Concerns about a record low, rather than a natural correction, have been rife. Currently, Apple stocks are valued at $533.9 (closing December 18, 2012 – NASDAQ).

The spectacular performance of Apple can be measured against its stellar stock performance. In 1997, even as the corporation faced bankruptcy, the shares were worth a mere $3.19. In January 2012, Apple Inc. had announced record profits for the last quarter of 2011. On February 29, 2012, when Apple's market capitalization hit the $500 billion mark, the achievement was lauded as only five other companies had previously managed to achieve the distinction. Apple's revival came under the vision and leadership of Steve Jobs as the corporation made it big, first in computers and subsequently in music players (iPod), smartphones (iPhone), and tablet computers (iPad). In March 2012, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple had announced an intention of paying dividend to shareholders and in using about $45 billion to buy back some shares.
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