While Goldamn Sachs’ investment in Facebook, and the social media giant’s valuation at $50 billion grabbed headlines, Apple somewhat quietly achieved its highest valuation ever.
The company has surpassed $300 billion in market capitalization, achieving a distinction shared currently by only one other company in the world, Exxon Mobil Corporation, according to Fortune.
By Monday at 12:10 p.m. ET, the price of Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares has risen by more than seven points to 329.75, giving the company an approximate market capitalization (the stock price times the number of outstanding shares) of $302.47 billion.
The dramatic rise, not only in the final months of 2010 but the entirety of the year, as been spurred by record earnings. In the fourth quarter alone Apple sold 3.89 million Macs, 14.1 million iPhones, 9.05 million iPods and 4.19 million iPads, according to Mashable.
Just eight months ago, Apple was worth $223 billion, making it the world’s most valuable technology company ahead of arch rival Microsoft. In October, shares of the computer and mobile device maker eclipsed $300, valuing the company at $274 billion.
Put another way, Apple is now worth six times the value of Facebook, althought the company has increased its value by $50 billion in just six months. Apple is now the world’s second most valuable company, bested only by Exxon Mobil Corporation’s $376 billion market capitalization (XOM).
That’s not so bad for a company that just twelve years ago sparked Dell CEO Michael Dell to advise Apple to close its doors, sell of its assets and return the money to its shareholders (which is also known as Apple Death Knell #10).
Dell ended the day at $13.69 per share, up $0.14 (+1.03%), with a market cap of $26.4 billion, a bit more than half of Facebook’s new valuation of $50 billion (according to a Goldman Sachs deal with the private company).
However, it’s unlikely that Apple will pass Exxon Mobil anytime soon, as the gap between the two companies has actually grown (now $73 billion, up from $50 billion in October). Especially with oil prices on the up-and-up, Exxon is expected to maintain its spot at number one. [via Mashable, MacObserver and Fortune]