This is a fun read from Jean-Louis Gassée about Apple’s rise to the 13-digit club.
A few bits, just to whet your appetite:
While Apple employees deserve to bask in the market’s recognition of their good work, the thing that really counts is “making a dent in the universe”, as Steve Jobs memorably said. To name but a few, the invention of products such as the Macintosh, the iPod, and the iPhone; the creation of attractive and lucrative platforms for app developers (who deserve their own recognition for helping Apple reach the big T); an unrivaled supply chain management system… These are the things that have propelled Apple, occasional warts included, to the top of the industry.
How did Apple get to $1T with such a poor price-to-earnings ratio (P/E)? As you no doubt already know, P/E is the result of dividing the share price by the earnings per share (EPS). The higher the ratio, the more willing investors are to pay a higher price for today’s shares, assured by the promise of substantially higher earnings (EPS) in the future.
This is where we get into some intriguing comparisons. Microsoft’s P/E is a solid 48 and Alphabet’s hovers around 50…but Apple’s is a meager 17. Caricaturing just a bit: “Apple still trades like a steel mill going out of business.”
Ah, Jean-Louis, always a pleasure making my way through your Monday Notes.