Apple CEO Steve Jobs took a dig at Dell founder and chairman Michael Dell last week.

As Apple's stock price rockets, setting new records and attracting a rising wave of positive analyst comment, Jobs sent an email to staff that looked back to Dell's advice when the Apple co-founder returned to Apple in 1997.

Apple was in deep trouble at that point - and Dell saw no future for the firm. He told an audience of several thousand technology managers that he would close Apple and "give the money back to the shareholders".

The New York Times reports that in an internal message to Apple employees sent on Friday last week, Jobs wrote: "Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn't perfect at predicting the future. Based on today's stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve."

Apple's shares were worth $85.5899 at close of trading on Friday.

The company will reveal further details of its December quarter's trading on January 18. Apple has already confirmed it sold 14 million iPods and raised $5.7 billion in revenue in the quarter.