Apple Stock Shares Pass $500, Company Most Valuable on Earth

Apple has been at the forefront of a wave of momentum furthered along with the introduction of edgy electronics and a faithful following.

Shares of the tech giant hit $503.83 shortly after the market opened before settling at $502.60 in after-hours trading. That put the stock up $9.18, or 1.9 percent, since Friday's close.

Apple Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. have been pushing for the top spot as most the valuable company on earth since last year. This most recent surge in stock price put Apple on top by 17 percent. The tech company is now worth $465 billion, compared to Exxon's $400 billion.

"It's a once-in-a-generation company that reinvents markets and does no wrong," says Michael Walkley, analyst at Canaccord Genuity.

On Jan. 24, Apple disclosed that it had a net income of $13.06 billion in the last quarter of last year. With that mark the company had doubled its profits from the year before. Sales were $46.3 billion, up a staggering 73 percent since last year.

The tech stock, which has been steadily climbing, saw a boost ahead of the rumored release of the iPad 3 in early March.

The average target price of Apple shares given by 37 analysts who have updated their ratings since the Jan. 24 report is $588, according to FactSet data.

iPad sales were up 111 percent compared to the same time last year. Sales of iPhones were up 128 percent since last year and so too were Mac sales up 26 percent over last year, according to the Washington Post.

The Cupertino, Calif., has a mind-boggling $97.6 billion in liquid assets. In January, Apple executive Peter Oppenheimer stated that they are looking for ways to use those monies in order so that it will not "burn a hole in our pockets."

According to only Google and Priceline cost more per share as of Monday. Google's price per share was $612.33 and Priceline's was $549.55.