5 Companies That Have Been Valued At Over $500 Billion

Only five companies have ever reached the point of greatness where investors valued their company at over $500 billion. That exclusive group may soon expand by one as Apple is poised to join the $500 billion club.

Apple’s stock price has climbed 32 percent since the beginning of 2012 following a blowout fourth quarter earnings report. Of late, AAPL shares have been rising on rumors that the iPad 3 will be released as early as next week.

Apple’s recent run has it on the precipice of a $500 billion valuation. Currently, no company is valued at that level and only 5 companies have ever reached that threshold in the past.

Microsoft – market cap peaked at $604 billion in December 1999

Cisco Systems – market cap peaked at $538 billion in March 2000

General Electric – market cap peaked at $581 billion in August 2000

Intel – market cap peaked at $503 billion in August 2000

Exxon Mobil – market cap peaked at $514 billion in July 2009

Apple investors should remain cautious however. None of the five companies listed above were able to maintain their $500 billion valuation levels. In fact, Microsoft, Cisco, GE and Intel all trade at less than half that level today.

Most financial pundits believe that if anyone could succeed as a $500 billion company it will be Apple. With a strong product pipeline (e.g. iPad 3, iPhone 5, etc.) and positive future catalysts (e.g. Apple dividend, etc.), Apple may top the previous market cap high set by Microsoft back in December 1999.

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