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Apple’s rally brings it back to the brink of historic threshold

Apple Inc’s rally in 2023 has brought it back to the brink of a historic threshold: a $3 trillion market valuation.

The stock has soared 35% this year, adding nearly $690 billion in market value, as investors have flocked to the iPhone maker’s steady revenue and massive cash flows. The advance has put Apple within striking distance of its January 2022 record.

“In my career, I never envisioned a company of this size, but then I never envisioned a company capable of generating more than $100 billion in free cash flow in a year,” said Patrick Burton, a portfolio manager of the MainStay Winslow Large Cap Growth Fund, which owns nearly 4.5 million shares of the Cupertino, California-based firm, as of the latest data. “When you look at the underlying metrics, it’s understandable why Apple has done so well.”

Apple and other technology behemoths have been market standouts this year as investors have gravitated to companies with the biggest scale while staring down risks from a potential recession, bank failures and now a US debt-ceiling standoff. It’s a favorite stock for institutional investors, hedge funds, retail investors, and Warren Buffett.

The stellar performance has, however, led to an increased debate around Apple’s valuation. At 28 times projected earnings, the stock is in rarefied air for a technology firm whose revenue is expected to shrink this year, trading at a premium to its own history, as well as the market. Bloomberg

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