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Apple becomes most valuable publicly-traded company of all time

Shares of Apple have risen almost 57 percent in 2012, making it the most valuable publicly-traded company in history.

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A pedestrian walks by an Apple Store on January 24, 2012 in San Francisco, California. Apple is now the most valuable publicly traded stock of all time. (Justin Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images)

Apple's stock price has soared to new heights, making the company the most valuable publicly-traded company in history. 

According to CNN Money, "Apple's market value -- the price of its stock multiplied by the number of outstanding shares -- hit $622 billion in intraday trading." This shattered Microsoft's record of $618.9 billion set on Dec. 30, 1999. As of noon today, Apple shares were trading at $664 per share, meaning that shares of Apple have risen almost 57 percent in 2012.

CNN Money also noted that Apple is well on its way to becoming the world's largest technology company in terms of sales by the end of 2012. It is already among the most profitable companies in the world. 

The staggering new stock price is mostly due to speculation that the iPad Mini is already in production.

Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies & Co, told Newsday that he raised his price target on the stock to $900 from $800 on Friday. Newsday reported, "His belief is based on readings of reports from Apple's suppliers, contract manufacturers and contacts in the region. He now believes Apple will build 25 million iPads of all kinds in the current quarter, up from a previous estimate of 16 million, which did not include the 'Mini'."

The Associated Press also noted that the iPhone 5 is expected to be released this September, helping to fuel the stock price fire. According to the AP, rumored iPhone upgrades include the ability to access the latest wireless data networks in the US and a slightly bigger screen.

Apple has not made any public comment on when, or if, an iPad Mini would be released. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/120820/apple-most-valuable-stock-all-time