Apple could become the world’s first $1 trillion company in 2018

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The world’s biggest tech giants are in a race to become the first company to be valued at over $1 trillion, and Apple is currently leading the pack, despite the iPhone X’s disappointing sales.

The valuation, created by taking the share price of each company and multiplying it by the number of shares available, puts Apple in the lead, with Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook in close competition behind the Cupertino giant. If share prices are to continue to climb at the same percentage as they did in 2017, then it’s pretty much inevitable we will see the world’s first $1 trillion company — and Apple only needs to increase share prices by 15 percent to do so (following an increase of 47 percent last year).

Apple’s valuation of $869 billion puts it $140 billion ahead of Google parent Alphabet, and $200 billion ahead of Microsoft, so Apple’s lead appears strong. Market analysts, however, are still split over which of the tech giants will be the first to reach the coveted value. U.S. investment magazine Barron’s backs Apple to claim the prize, citing its strong profits and overall performance is a good indicator of success in 2018. Other sources back fourth-place Amazon as a key contender for the top, claiming Amazon’s fast growth will see it supplant Apple at the top of the list. Alphabet’s and Microsoft’s chances have largely been downplayed — Alphabet’s shares would have to rise by 72 percent in 2018, after a 2017 rise of only 11 percent, and Microsoft’s shares would have to rise by 98 percent, making either company an unlikely winner.

Of course, there could be a dark horse in the race. Elon Musk has previously stated he believes his Tesla and Solarcity will be eventually valued at $1 trillion, and with renewable energies on the rise, a sudden burst in enthusiasm for Musk’s companies could see a surge in share prices for each. The trick would be getting there before Apple.

A $1 trillion-valued company is currently seen as “inevitable,” and it’s highly likely we’ll see such a company emerge this year, barring any sudden revaluations of the market. The global stock market generally follows an upwards trend, and ended 2017 on a high, adding $9 trillion over the year, and with such a trend likely to continue, it’s possible one of the biggest companies in the world will gain immortal bragging rights during 2018.

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