Apple surpasses $600bn market value mark

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Apple’s market value surpassed $600bn for the first time positioning itself as the world’s most valuable firm.

The tech giant’s shares crossed the $500 threshold back in February while reaching a record high of $644 on Tuesday.

Analysts said it touched new heights this week with company’s stocks up almost 60% since the start of year.

The company reached a milestone compared to its shares around $3.19 back in 1997 while teetering at the edge of bankruptcy.

Its rival Microsoft, which also had the value of $269bn in 1999, has now reached $619bn making it the second biggest tech giant.

Buy Back Share Plans

Apple announced early last month it would use its cash reserves to start paying dividend to its shareholders and buy back some of its the shares.

Company said it would pay quarterly dividends of $2.65 per share from July and will also buy back $10bn of shares starting from next financial year which is from 30 September 2012.

At the end of last year, the Cupertino-based company revealed that it had $97.6bn in cash and from that it would expect to use $45bn in the next three years.

“We have used some of our cash to make great investment in our business through increased research and development, acquisition, new retail stores openings and strategic repayments and capital expenditure in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive.

He added: “You’ll see more of all these in future. Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going initiate a dividend and share repurchase programme.”

In January, Apple reported record-breaking net profits for the last three months of 2011.

Sources: BBC, Reuters

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