Apple poised to become world's first $3-trillion public company

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      The most valuable company on the New York Stock Exchange is on the verge of achieving another milestone.

      Apple shares rose to US$179.84 in after-hours trading on Friday (December 10), surpassing the 52-week high of US$179.63 posted earlier in the day.

      The company headed by CEO Tim Cook is now worth more than US$2.94 trillion, placing it within distance of becoming the first US$3-trillion public company in history.

      The Cupertino, California–based tech giant's shares have been on a tear, shooting up 19.64 percent in the past month.

      Cook became CEO on August 24, 2011, succeeding company cofounder Steve Jobs. That day, the shares fell in after-hours trading to US$357 (US$12.75 in today's terms, based on the 7:1 stock split in 2014 and 4:1 stock split in 2020).

      Since Cook became CEO, the share price has risen 1,400 percent.

      Bloomberg recently reported that Apple shares have delivered a 22,000 percent return since the late 1990s. This translated into an increase of about 28 percent per year, far eclipsing the 7.5 percent annual return on the broad-based S&P 500 index.

      Last month, the Information website reported that Apple is planning to launch an augment-reality headset next year and sleek AR glasses by 2023. This has been a factor propelling the company's share price upward.

      Meanwhile, it's been widely reported that Apple is also working on a fully autonomous motor vehicle.