Apple is going to have the annual face-to-face meeting with shareholders Thursday, which is days after its shares crossed the record mark of $500.

The shares of Apple have enjoyed a 40 percent rise since February 2011 and a nearly 500 percent gain in the last five years.

The company's profits for the quarter, which ended on Dec 31, stood at $13.1 billion, 36 percent more than the average analyst forecast while revenue beat forecasts by $7.3 billion. Shares have risen 17 percent over the past month, the biggest gain since August 2009.

Most analysts have price targets on the stock of $560 or much more. Apple stock rose 26 percent last year and was the 55th-best stock in the S&P 500.

Apple's number one position in the Nasdaq 100 constitutes 16.40 percent of the index. Its market capitalization, at $467.21 billion, is now greater than Microsoft's ($257.43 billion) and Google's ($199.30 billion) combined.

The company is expected to unveil a new version of its market-leading iPad at an event in San Francisco in March, which could further increase its popularity and thereby help the shares to continue their breathtaking rise.

In the middle all these positive news, there were some damaging reports concerning working conditions at the company's manufacturing contractors in China. Following public protests and petitions of worldwide consumers, Apple has engaged the Fair Labor Association to look into working conditions at the Foxconn factory. Apple has acknowledged that aluminum dust was responsible for explosions at two of its Chinese suppliers last year that resulted in four deaths and injuries to another 77 workers.

Another issue is concerning the trademark fight it is having in China. According to Proview Technology, it owns the Chinese rights for the iPad name.

Apple, claiming trademark infringement, failed to win the suit after its case was rejected over lack of evidence. Proview first registered the trademark name iPad in several countries, including China, as early as 2000 intending to use it for a Web-capable hand-held device, but the project was scrapped.

It appears that unless Apple agrees to pay a large sum of money to settle the trademark dispute, the iPad seizures and legal actions against the sales of the tablet could continue in China. It is not known how much money is sought by Proview from Apple for resolving the issue.