42. Apple Becomes World's Most Valuable Company
In 1997, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the company was struggling to stay in business. Since the release of the iPhone and iPad, however, Apple's financials have looked like that of a blossoming start-up. Profits have soared every quarter. Example: In April of 2011, Apple announced a 95% increase in profits with second-quarter earnings of $5.99 billion. In that quarter the company sold 18.65 million iPhones, 113% more than it did the same time last year! Crazy. It was no surprise then that in August of that year, Apple, with a market valuation of $337.11 billion, beat out Exxon to become the world's most valuable company.