Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Apple overtakes Microsoft as most valuable stock of all time

August 20, 2012: 12:15 PM ET

With Monday's run, its market capitalization clears $623 billion

FORTUNE -- Apple's (AAPL) share price went on a tear Monday, gaining $17.04 a share (2.63%) to close at $665.15 -- a new high.

With 937.41 million shares outstanding, that put its market cap at $623.52 billion -- which if you don't factor in inflation is a record for a publicly trading company.

The previous record holder was Microsoft (MSFT), whose market cap hit $618.9 billion on Dec. 30, 1999. Adjusted for inflation, according to the AP, that's about $850 billion in today's dollars. Microsoft is currently valued at $257.6 billion.

The chart at right shows the two stock's performances over the past decade. You have to look closely to see Microsoft (represented by the green line at the bottom) because compared with Apple, its share price has basically flatlined.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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