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Apple joins exclusive $500bn club

• By Chris Nuttall and Richard Waters
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Apple has joined an elite group of companies to reach a $500bn equity valuation amid expectations it is to launch a new version of the iPad next week.

Shares in the iPhone maker rose by nearly 2 per cent to $535.41 on Tuesday, lifting its equity value to $504bn. Apple shares are already up 32 per cent this year, extending gains over the past 10 years to 4,500 per cent.
 
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Apple is the world’s most valuable company – valued at about $90bn more than ExxonMobil– and stock market analysts remain bullish. Of 56 analysts tracking Apple to be surveyed by Bloomberg, 51 rate the stock a “buy” with four maintaining a “hold” stance. Only one has a “sell” rating.

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