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Apple Becomes the Most Valuable Company in History

Apple Logo Black - H 2012

At the end of trading Monday, Apple's market capitalization of $624 billion made it nearly 15 times more valuable than Facebook.

After hitting an all-time high on Friday, Apple stock surged again Monday, this time nearly 3 percent to $665.15 per share, enough to make it the most valuable company in the history of Wall Street.

PHOTOS: Apple Products in TV and Movies

As the Associated Press noted on Monday, Apple's rising stock propelled the company's value to $624 billion, "the world's highest ever. It beat the record market capitalization set by Microsoft Corp. in the heady days of the Internet boom."

Apple was already the world's most valuable company -- and has been since passing Exxon Mobil nearly a year ago. On Monday, Exxon Mobil was a distant No. 2 with a market cap of $406 billion.

A dozen years ago, just prior to the bursting of the Internet bubble, Microsoft was usually considered the world's most valuable company with a market cap that peaked at $621 billion. Valuations then were obviously out of whack, though. Disney, for example, was worth $70 billion back then and there were rumors swirling that Yahoo, worth $100 billion at the time, was eyeing a takeover of Disney.

Fast-forward to Monday, and Disney is worth $90 billion while Yahoo is valued at $18 billion. And Apple is worth more than the combined worth of both of them, along with Comcast, News Corp., Time Warner, CBS, Viacom and Sony, all added up together.

Apple is also nearly 15 times more valuable than Facebook.

The catalysts for Apple's recent rise are the impending launch of the iPhone 5 and rumors of a smaller and cheaper version of the iPad. Apple is also looking to finally conquer television, with possible plans for a cable set-top box and/or interactive TV set, plus other initiatives in the works.

Email: Paul.Bond@thr.com