The sea in which Apple is a minnow

How big exactly is Apple? After its blockbuster earnings yesterday, it is valued at around $687 billion (with a share price of around $117). It’s 7.0% gain today pushed it up in value by around $50 billion. That $50b gain alone alone would make it worth more than 98% of stocks listed on US exchanges!

By no measure is Apple small. But I rediscovered a fascinating article written back in August 2012 by Alex Planes (@TMFBiggles) titled A History of Ridiculously Big Companies. With this kind of historical perspective, Apple has some work to do before it can claim to be the biggest company ever.

The article was written when Apple had just beat Microsoft’s 1999 peak of $616 billion to claim the title of the largest listed American company in history (not adjusted for inflation).

With all of those qualifications though, Planes puts together the all time largest companies ever and adjusts them for inflation.

Compared to the Dutch East India Co., Apple still has a ways to go. But sans a private army and a carte blanche to to rule colonies, I guess Apple is doing pretty well.

Disclosure: I’m the developer behind Pobot, a portfolio optimization tool.

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