Sorry, Tim Cook – the First $1 Trillion Company “IPO'd” in 1602

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We recently gave you our own spin on Apple Inc.‘s (Nasdaq: AAPL) historic move up through the $1 trillion market-value threshold.

I say “historic” because Apple was the first company to pierce that trillion-dollar barrier.

Or was it?

In an intriguing (and kinda cool) piece in its August issue, Money magazine argues the iDevice king wasn’t the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

Indeed, the magazine said five other companies hit the trillion-dollar mark before Apple. It referred to these five other firms as charter members of the “Four-Comma Club.”

“When you search globally and historically, you’ll find plenty of examples of dominant corporations that actually dwarf Apple’s market size – after you inflation-adjust their value to today’s dollars,” Money reporter Ryan Derousseau writes. “Once you do that, several dominant companies have already made it into the four-comma club.”

I know what you’re thinking: “C’mon, Bill, by adjusting for inflation, this writer is playing games with the numbers.”

True, but we should be used to games of that ilk: I mean, Wall Street plays games with numbers all the time.

So do most public companies.

This “game” is actually pretty scintillating. And it doesn’t change the fact that Apple (which has given you a 266% gain since Zenith Trading Circle Editor Shah Gilani recommended Apple in July 2013 at a split-adjusted price of $60.10 a share) continues to be one of our “Accumulate” stocks.

So let’s take a look at the charter members of Money‘s “Four-Comma Club” companies. Then we’ll circle back and tell you why the stock is still on our “Accumulate” list.

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About the Author

Before he moved into the investment-research business in 2005, William (Bill) Patalon III spent 22 years as an award-winning financial reporter, columnist, and editor. Today he is the Executive Editor and Senior Research Analyst for Money Morning. With his latest project, Private Briefing, Bill takes you “behind the scenes” of his established investment news website for a closer look at the action. Members get all the expert analysis and exclusive scoops he can’t publish… and some of the most valuable picks that turn up in Bill’s closed-door sessions with editors and experts.

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