Apple’s ride to $1 trillion: The magic number that gets it there

apples ride to trillion the magic number that gets it there
FILE PHOTO: Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, U.S., August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple (AAPL.O) is close to becoming the first publicly listed U.S. company valued at $1 trillion(761.67 billion pounds), but figuring out exactly how close requires doing a little math.

Based on Apple’s Tuesday earnings release, the magic number that gets the iPhone maker to $1 trillion right now is $206.49 – but probably not for long.

Apple’s stock was up 5.4 percent at an all-time high of $200.48 on Wednesday, thanks to the company’s better-than-expected results and its aggressive share buybacks.

As part of its June-quarter report late on Tuesday, Apple said it bought back $20 billion of its own stock and that its share count as of the end of June had declined to 4,842,917,000, which would mean its stock price must reach $206.49 for the company to hit a $1 trillion market capitalization.

Based on the share count listed on its balance sheet on Tuesday, Apple’s stock market value was at $971 billion.

However, Apple is expected on Wednesday to file its more detailed quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission with an even more recent share count, which may well show a further dip due to Apple’s buyback program. If that is the case, then Apple’s would need to hit a higher stock price to touch a market value of $1 trillion.

“Once that 10-Q comes out, the numbers will change,” said S&P Dow Jones Indices analyst Howard Silverblatt, who is currently focused on $206.49 as the number to watch. “Apple has been very vocal that they plan to continue their buybacks and obviously they have the resources.”

Pegging a company’s share count – and market capitalization – is often a moving target.

Ahead of Apple’s report on Tuesday, its most up-to-date share count was 4,915,138,000. At that count, its stock would have had to hit about $203.45 for Apple’s market value to reach $1 trillion.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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