A single share of Apple stock now costs more than an iPad

The “Apple is worth more than” meme has gotten plenty of play over the past year, but a new measure of Apple’s success emerged on Monday that is as simple as it is monumental: a single share of Apple stock now costs more than an iPad. As of the open of the market on Monday, Apple’s stock rose just above $499 — the entry-level price of Apple’s iPad 2 — undoubtedly on its way to $500 and beyond. The Cupertino-based firm that once teetered on the brink of bankruptcy and was saved in part by a $150 million investment from Microsoft is now worth more than Microsoft and Google combined. Read on for more.

Apple shares exploded last month after the company reported earnings for its first fiscal quarter. The firm’s $13.06 billion in profit was the most ever recorded in a single quarter by a technology company, and the second most ever recorded by any company in the United States.

Apple now has more than $100 billion in cash — the company reported that the total value of its cash and marketable securities reached $97.6 billion at the end of the first fiscal quarter — and it is about to unveil a brand new version of its popular iPad tablet, the Retina Display-equipped iPad 3. Apple is then expected to enter brand new territory for the firm when it launches the “iTV” this summer, and a completely redesigned iPhone will likely follow this fall.

No company stays on top forever, but things aren’t expected to slow down any time soon for Apple. In fact, those sky-high price targets some scoffed at last year really aren’t looking so outlandish anymore. OK, maybe a few of them still are.

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