Apple Worth More Than Greece (Well, Not Really)

The combined value of Apple's stock is more than the GDP of some countries.

The combined value of Apple’s stock is more than the GDP of some countries.

CNNMoney (“Apple is worth more than Greece“):

Apple’s value on the stock market briefly rose to $400 billion on Thursday, a record high for what was already the world’s most valuable technology company.

The company’s market cap slipped below the $400 billion mark by midday as Apple’s (AAPL, Fortune 500) stock fell back from the all-time high of $431.37 it set earlier in the morning. Shares ended the day slightly down, leaving Apple with a $398 billion market value.

Still, that puts Apple in some pretty exclusive territory. Only Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500) has a higher valuation, at about $420 billion. PetroChina (PTR) is Apple’s closest competitor, at $270 billion, and Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) follows at $235 billion.

Apple’s market cap is higher than the gross domestic product of Greece, Austria, Argentina, or South Africa. (For more comparisons, check out this excellent blog: Things Apple is Worth More Than.)

Despite its size, Apple is still one of the fastest growing technology companies. The company will report its finances for the past quarter next week, and analysts expect Apple to announce that its sales grew by 45% compared to last year, according to a survey conducted by Thomson Reuters.

Sometimes, stock valuations create some odd comparisons. There was a time during the dotcom boom where was valued higher than Delta Airlines, for example. My strong sense is that Greece will not only rebound at some point to overtake Apple but that Greece will be around long after Apple fades away. But, if you’re making an investment for the near team, I’d bet on Apple.

UPDATE: John Personna points out below that this is a false comparison, since “Apple’s capitalization is a valuation. Greece’s GDP is a yearly cash flow.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. When Apple has been around for a few thousand years then we can talk

  2. CNNMoney made this mistake? It’s a terrible one.

    Apple’s capitalization is a valuation. Greece’s GDP is a yearly cash flow.

    Apples and oranges.

  3. (You’d want to compare gross sales to GDP to get to “everything citrus” but even that would not be exact.)

  4. @john personna:

    Since we’re talking about Greece wouldn’t it really be comparing Apples and olives?

  5. James Joyner says:

    @john personna:

    Apple’s capitalization is a valuation. Greece’s GDP is a yearly cash flow.

    Yes, a fair point. Greece doesn’t have a valuation, presumably, since it’s not for sale.

  6. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @James Joyner: Perhaps, but think about the potential revenue streams if they started allowing corporate sponsorship of historical sites! “Welcome to the Oikos Yogurt Parthenon!”