“Most of us, including myself, suppose that Apple (AAPL) will be around in three years,” James A. Kostohryz writes for Seeking Alpha. “But the more relevant question to ask is how much should an investor be willing to pay for shares of the company three years from now? Or, in other words, what is the value that investors should assign to the free cash flow that Apple can generate for common shareholders after 2016?”

“This question is of fundamental importance, because only a very small fraction of Apple’s current market value – about $26.00 per share – can be justified by discounting the cash flows that the company is currently scheduled to distribute to shareholders in the next three years via dividend payments, through the end of 2015,” Kostohryz writes. “Therefore, to be able to justify Apple’s current stock price of roughly $450 per share, we need to have clear vision of how successful AAPL’s business is going to be in the future and how the company is going to be able to continue to provide cash returns to common shareholders after 2015.”

Kostohryz writes, “The industry that Apple operates in is notoriously fickle, cutthroat, cruel and unforgiving… Only one thing is certain: The Apple that we know today will essentially no longer exist three years from now.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our first reaction to the headline was, “They’d better or we’ll have to get real jobs!”

After reading the article, we agree that the Apple we know today essentially will no longer exist three years from now (perhaps a bit hyperbolic), unless Tim Cook and Co. fail to do their jobs properly.

“I see cannibalization as a huge opportunity for us… Our basic philosophy to never fear cannibalization. If we do, somebody else will just cannibalize us and so we never fear it.” – Tim Cook, January 23, 2013