Apple became the first US company to have its value surpass $700 billion on Tuesday when its stock price closed at $122. It had reached that level in November, but Tuesday was the first time it closed at that level, a far more significant achievement. Exxon Mobil, the next largest company, is worth “only” $382 billion. The stock price is up 63% over the last year.
The stock rallied after Apple announced a partnership with First Solar on a nearly 3,000-acre solar energy farm that will funnel energy to its offices in California. The $850 million investment will help fuel up to 60,000 homes. This news comes after Apple’s record performance in the last quarter, the expansion of Apple Pay and its stores in China, and a successful bond sale last week.
CEO Tim Cook also confirmed on Tuesday that the company will announce any potential changes to stock buybacks or dividends during its April earnings call. He assured investors that he was committed to returning money to shareholders through its capital return program, adding that the company does not need as much cash as it is generating for operations. The recent news has seen Cook leave his imprint on the company, leaving little doubt about his ability to take over from founder Steve Jobs.