By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
October 23, 2008

Here’s an interesting corporate milestone: When the markets closed on Wednesday, Dell (DELL) was trading at $11.98 share, with 1.96 billion shares outstanding. That puts Dell’s market capitalization at $23.5 billion.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Steve Jobs reported that Apple (AAPL) ended fiscal year 2008 with $24.5 billion in the bank.

In other words, Apple could buy Dell with the cash it has on hand and still have more than $1 billion left over. (Or rather $10 billion, if you count, as reader Joe Goodart does, the $9 billion Dell has in the bank.)

Hard to believe that it’s been only 11 years since Michael Dell, asked what he would do if he were Apple’s CEO, answered:

“What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.” (link)

For the record, Apple’s market cap today stands at $85.8 billion.

Don’t cry for Michael Dell, however. According to a list of the 400 wealthiest Americans published last month, his net worth is still more than three times Steve Jobs’.

  • Michael Dell: $17.3 billion
  • Steve Jobs: $5.7 billion

For a timeline of other Apple v. Dell milestones, see MacDailyNews here.

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