Apple chief executive Tim Cook has wasted no time cashing in US$121 million ($181.9m) worth of stock awards.

Cook was awarded 560,000 shares by the iPhone maker last Saturday, according to a regulatory filing.

The stock options were worth US$121m before tax of US$63.7m, but Cook still pocketed over US$57.3m, according to Business Insider.

The stock awards are in addition to his salary and bonus plan. The Apple boss made US$12.8m last year, which included his US$3m base salary and US$9.3m cash bonus, according to Business Insider.

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On August 3, Apple became the first US company to break the US$1 trillion valuation milestone after its shares reached US$207.05.

The achievement seemed unimaginable in 1997 when Apple teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, with its stock trading for less than US$1, on a split-adjusted basis, and its market value dropping below US$2 billion.

If someone had dared to buy US$10,000 worth of stock at that point of desperation, the investment would now be worth about US$2.6m.

Apple's stock has climbed by more than 23 per cent so far this year, compared to a 6 per cent gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

- With AP