Apple is now bigger than Belgium
The market value ofApplehas become bigger than that of the entire Belgian market. Apple is the second biggest US company in terms of market capitalisation. Apple has moved ahead of Microsoft, in a symbolic race for leadership in the IT-world. Steve Jobs probably does not know that he surpassed the total value of the Belgian equity market. Interesting is also the big drop of the oldest quoted US company -General Electric-, which has suffered a lot from the financial crisis. From a positive viewpoint, Belgium has moved ahead of General Electric now.
The global ranking:
1) Exxon : 314 $bio
2) Petrochina : 270 $bio
3) Apple : 259 $bio
4) Ind & Com BofCh : 213 $bio
5) Microsoft : 211 $bio
Econopolis is a big fan of Apple, as all our IT equipment is Apple-based. But given current market value, we start to doubt the potential of Apple to continue to surprise investors positively, and also maintain a lead in the very difficult electronic hardware market. The iPad is a sector-changing product, the iPhone and the iPod are a massive success. But competitors have followed Apple's example, and have launched competing products.
From a broader perspective, Apple is one of the very rare companies that have powered ahead during the recession, and have continued to realize impressive growth rates.
As from the start of the year, equities in general have yielded a small positive return. The third quarter has been rather strong. But when put into perspective, equities have not followed the performance of riskless (although...) government bonds (Belgium and especially Germany). The strongest performance came from the barbaric metal, gold. When measured in gold-terms, equities lost 15% this year. Note also the big reversal of the US dollar versus the euro as from June.