Apple’s Valuation Nears Record Highs

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Apple’s shares closed today at $100.53, a record high, provided that you adjust the company’s former heights for its recent split.

The technology firm had a previous, adjusted closing high of $100.30. However, its record intraday high — again taking into account its split — was a skyscraping $100.72. So, Apple has traded for more than it closed at today, but its final trade today represents the company’s highest end-of-day price.

Given that record close, is the company worth more than ever, on an end-of-day basis? No. Apple repurchases its own shares as part of shareholder return program. Quick analysis indicates that Apple’s valuation is actually a few tens of billions below where it once was.

Apple is currently in the midst of a $90 billion share buyback program. In its last quarter, according to its investor release, the company returned $8 billion to shareholders in dividends and share buybacks — a large percentage of which went to picking up its own equity.

As the company’s $130 billion shareholder return effort carries on, the number of its outstanding shares will decline. And thus to reach its past total valuation heights, its share price will have to pass its former record levels by a reasonable margin.