Apple’s valuation just eclipsed the entire US energy sector

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It’s practically impossible to go into public and not see at least one Apple product. With iPhones at every turn and Apple Watches securely fastened to the wrist of an increasing number of consumers, the Tim Cook led firm is everywhere. So, it’s no surprise that the company has an absolutely massive valuation of $1.17 trillion.

As of Thursday evening at the market’s close, Apple is now worth more than the entire U.S. energy sector. Even combining all of the massive oil corporations like ExxonMobil and Chevron isn’t enough to touch the technology giant. For comparison, the S&P 500 Energy index closed on Thursday with a $1.13 trillion valuation.

Surging in a Renaissance

Apple has enjoyed an extremely successful 2019 so far. In the previous few years, the company faced many struggles—mainly related to a decreasing number of iPhone sales. Oddly enough, the Apple renaissance is coming at the same time that the Big Tech firm is shaking up its business model.

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Rather than focusing on hardware sales alone, Apple is expanding its offerings to include more subscription-based services. For example, Apple TV+ launched at the beginning of the month and Apple Music is starting to gain some traction. At the same time, revenue from the iPhone is at the smallest percentage it has been in several years.

In Q3 2019, iPhone sales made up just 48 percent of the company’s income. That marks the first time the smartphone has accounted for less than 50 percent of Apple’s revenue since 2012.

Nonetheless, Apple’s stock has surged more than 66 percent on the year. According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts, “The tech giant is ‘on course for 82.6% gain’ through the end of the year.”

Still Seeking Exemptions

One factor that will determine whether Apple meets or surpasses that lofty figure is the U.S.-China trade war. Despite positive progress in talks between the two nations this week, there are more tariffs looming on the horizon.

On December 15, a 15 percent tax will be placed on many of Apple’s hardware components—including those for its iPhone, iMac, and Watch.

As such, the company is unsurprisingly seeking exemptions from these tariffs. It argues that its products do not directly influence the Chinese economy and should therefore not be taxed as such. However, it remains to be seen if Washington will approve the request.

Regardless, Apple is on quite the roll right now. Considering that the entire U.S. energy sector can’t afford to buy it, the company seems to be in a good position. Those who purchased Apple stock prior to this year’s stock boom are also doing well.

Since Apple’s IPO in 1980, the company has returned 51,031 percent on investments. If nothing else, this serves as a good reminder to keep looking for the tech sector’s next unicorn.