AAPL for a second time passes Exxon, GOOG hits new all-time high

Apple headquarters (Cupertino, Clifornia, exterior 001)

Look, these things are not the be-all, end-all for business performance, but obviously market capitalization reflects investors’ expectations concerning Apple’s future performance. The iPhone maker last Friday hit a 52-week low and as a result ceded its top spot as the world’s most-valued publicly traded corporation to the oil giant Exxon.

AAPL shares have slowly been recovering since and today has surpassed the oil conglomerate for a second time in after-hours trading. The Cupertino firm now leads Exxon with a $10 billion market cap difference, but is Apple’s valuation sustainable in the long run?

Exxon had a market valuation of $410.52 billion at the time of this writing.

XOM market cap 20130201

At the same time, Apple was worth $425.98 billion.

AAPL market cap 20130201

CEO Tim Cook told Apple employees who attended a Town Hall meeting last week that people shouldn’t take market cap to heart.

The only companies that report better quarters pump oil. I do not know about you all, but I do not want to work for those companies.

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac has more on that:

Cook also reportedly made it clear that share price is not Apple’s focus. Making new products that customers love is the priority. Revenue and share price is just a by-product of Apple’s efforts. Cook said that he believes that Apple employees agree with that sentiment.

He also said that Apple is commonly misunderstood and that the company will always have critics, no matter how successful it is by Apple’s standards.

On a related note, shares of Google have also been on fire, closing Friday up 2.63 percent at $775.60, a new all-time high for the Internet giant.

Google’s market cap now sits at more than a quarter of a trillion dollars.

Note that Apple in one quarter roughly earns a year worth of Google’s net income.

Apple was chasing Exxon throughout 2011 and then on August 9, 2011 briefly surpassed the gas and fuel juggernaut to become the world’s #1 publicly traded company.

A month later, Apple for the first time ever ended the trading day ahead of Exxon.

AAPL peaked at just a little over $700 in September 2012.