“Apple is suddenly America’s third-largest company by stock market value. Over the past three years, its shares have more than doubled in price, while those of No. 2 Microsoft and No. 1 Exxon Mobil have fallen slightly,” Jack Hough reports for SmartMoney. “If that trend continues, Apple will be America’s largest company by year’s end.”
MacDailyNews Take: What Steve Jobs has accomplished is breathtaking. He just might be the greatest CEO ever.
Hough continues, “That is surely one of the most dramatic corporate turnarounds in history. Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple wasn’t quite near bankruptcy, as is sometimes said, when Steve Jobs returned 13 years ago as its chief executive and a $150 million investment by Microsoft provided the company with fresh operating cash. But its future was much in doubt.”
MacDailyNews Take: Okay, this again. We’ve heard it all, right on up to “Microsoft bought Apple.” Here are the facts: That $150 million investment in non-voting shares was a show of faith, symbolic in nature. Apple didn’t need that cash, Apple had $1.2 billion in cash on-hand at the time. The deal also including a commitment by Microsoft to continue producing Office for the Mac for a period of five years (which they still do, and quite profitably, too) and the settlement of a long-standing dispute over whether Microsoft’s Windows operating system infringed on any of Apple’s patents, along with a broad patent cross-licensing agreement. As part of the deal, Apple also agreed to make Microsoft’s Internet Explorer the default browser for the Macintosh platform – gack!
Hough continues, “‘I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders,’ said Michael Dell in 1997 to an audience of several thousand information technology managers. Today, the computer maker that bears Dell’s name ranks No. 78 among U.S. companies by stock market value. Roughly speaking, Apple is worth eight Dells.”
MacDailyNews Take: And, the All-Time Foot-In-Mouth Award (ATFIMA) goes to… Michael Dell!
Hough continues, “To some, Apple shares look too expensive. But not to Wall Street’s prognosticators. According to a Thomson poll, 37 of 43 analysts who publish recommendations on the stock currently advise investors to buy. Among those fans are 15 who strongly recommend a purchase.”
“Previous No. 1 companies were vital to making America’s mainframes whir, its telephones ring, its cars rumble and its sea of home and business computers speak a common language,” Hough writes. “On the other hand, Apple makes it a little easier and a lot cooler to browse the Internet, manage media and make telephone calls. The marvel isn’t just that a computer maker that rivals had counted out is now nearly the largest company in the land. It’s that it became so by selling indulgences rather than needs.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Life is short and people who realize that feel they deserve the best. Why settle for frustration when you can have a superior experience that more than repays the difference in the long run? That’s not so much of an indulgence as it is a product of critical thinking and practicality. People who think for more than a second understand that Macs are unbelievable deals.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JES42” for the heads up.]