Apple borrows billions despite record profits and cash hoard
Apple becomes first company to reach $700bn market capitalisationReuters

Apple has become the first US company with a market capitalisation of $700bn after it struck a deal with a California-based solar farm to cut its energy bill.

The company has entered into an $850m (€750m, £558m) deal with the First Solar Inc, which will supply electricity to its new campus in Silicon Valley, and other offices and 52 stores in California, according to CEO Tim Cook. Under the agreement, the solar firm will supply electricity to Apple for 25 years.

A brand new 1,300-acre solar farm will be built in California to power Apple's offices. The plant will have the capacity to power the equivalent of 60,000 homes.

"We expect to have a very significant savings because we have a fixed price for the renewable energy, and there's quite a difference between that price and the price of brown energy," Cook said.

"We know in Apple that climate change is real. The time for talk has passed and the time for action is now."

Apple shares rose about 2% to close at $122.02 on 10 February, taking its market capitalisation to about $711bn. Market capitalisation is calculated by multiplying a company's shares outstanding by its stock price.

Apple is now valued at $300bn more than ExxonMobil, the next most valuable US company with a market cap of $382bn. Meanwhile, Google comes in at No. 3 with $365bn followed by Microsoft at $349bn.

Apple's market value has been steadily increasing since its introduction of the popular iPod. The company later introduced its iPhones and iPads that have become icons in the smartphone and tablet industry, generating billions of dollars in sales for the firm.

The company earlier posted the largest quarterly earnings in global corporate history, raking in $18bn profit during the final quarter of 2014, a 40% rise over the same period in 2013.