More Apple coverage

CUPERTINO -- Apple (AAPL) abdicated its throne of most valuable company in the United States to Exxon Mobil for all of one day, as the tech giant's stock rebounded Monday to take the title back from the largest American oil company.

The Cupertino company's stock rebounded Monday, however, gaining 2.3 percent to close at $449.83, giving it a market cap -- the total value of all shares in a company -- of $422.4 billion. Exxon dropped 0.7 percent on the day to close at $91.11, giving it a market cap of $415.4 billion.

(FILES)The Apple logo is seen in this September 11, 2012 file photo at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Francisco. AFP PHOTO / Kimihiro HOSHINO /
(FILES)The Apple logo is seen in this September 11, 2012 file photo at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Francisco. AFP PHOTO / Kimihiro HOSHINO / FILES (KIMIHIRO HOSHINO)

Apple stock was punished after it announced earnings Wednesday afternoon for the final three months of 2012, when holiday shoppers put $54.5 billion in Apple's coffers for profits of more than $13 billion, both records for the company.

After declines of 12.4 percent Thursday -- he worst one-day decline for Apple since 2008 -- and 2.4 percent Friday, Apple was passed by Exxon in market capitalization, ending a run at the top that stretched for a full calendar year.

Apple and Exxon jockeyed for the top spot through the last half of 2011, but Apple's record-breaking holiday quarter to end the year pushed the company to the top in January 2012, and it went on to break Microsoft's record for highest market cap of all time, without adjusting for inflation. At its peak price, Apple sold for $705.07 on the day of the iPhone 5's launch, Sept. 21.


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Analysts are torn on Apple: The company continues to produce massive profits and revenues but has not introduced a revolutionary new product to drive further growth since the iPad in 2010, instead just updating and changing options for its two massive revenue generators, the iPhone and the iPad.

Apple "is still a terrific company with a great balance sheet, a great product line, tremendous innovation," Christopher Giordano, principal owner of Los Gatos-based Giordano Wealth Management Group, said last week.

"Apple has great prospects for the future, but I do believe the optimism about Apple was overdone," Michael Yoshikami, founder of Walnut Creek-based Destination Wealth Management, countered. "It rallied more than it should have, a rally based on the hysteria over the company."

Staff writer George Avalos contributed to this report. Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/mercbizbreak.