As stock price soars, Apple becomes the most valuable company of all time

Earlier today, Apple became the most valuable company not only on the planet, but the most valuable company of all time.

Earlier today, Apple became the most valuable company not only on the planet, but the most valuable company of all time.

At the time of this writing, shares of Apple are up $14.29 a share (2.23%) and are trading at $662.45 giving it a market cap of $620.95 billion. A few hours earlier, shares were trading even higher at $664.12 a share.

The previous market cap record was set by Microsoft back in 1999 when its shares had a market cap of $618.9 billion. But in the interest of keeping the playing field level, some have noted that Microsoft's market cap of yore in today's dollars would be about $842 billion. If Apple wants to top that, it's shares would have to rise to about $898 a share, the equivalent to a 35% appreciation in share price. A feat, to be sure, but with some analysts pegging Apple's stock target close to $1000, it's certainly a possibility.

As for the sudden surge in Apple shares, many are attributing it to the impending iPhone 5 announcement along with a slew of rumors pointing to the release of an iPad Mini as well.

Below is a chart mapping the company's with the highest market caps in history, courtesy of TechCrunch.

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