Cody Willard: Top 5 companies that Apple should buy right now

“Apple is the first company ever to be worth $700 billion,” Cody Willard writes for MarketWatch.

“I’ve owned Apple since March 2003 from a split-adjusted $1 per share,” Willard writes. “Having bet my reputation on being a longtime Apple bull in the public eye, I’d be foolish not to recognize what Apple has done for my career. But let’s imagine just how many transformative companies Apple could easily acquire.”

Willard writes, “Here are the top 5 companies Apple should acquire immediately using its stock and maybe a few dozen of its billions in cash.”

Top 5 companies that Apple should buy right now:
5. SanDisk
4. Hulu
3. Netflix
2. Garmin
1. ARM Holdings

Read why Apple should buy each of the five companies listed above in the full article here.

44 Comments

  1. Hey Cody, how many multi billion dollar deals have you made in the past? What makes you think that you know what is good for Apple better than they do?

    1. Apple to Cody: “I heard you’re up to 700 billion dollars. Oh wait, that’s me. Why don’t you let me worry about my finances.” (Adaptation from Gary Gulman’s “In This Economy” standup)

    2. Hey Cody, Netflix is not transformative, or Hulu, or SanDisk, or Garmin, or even ARM Holdings.

      As for the “could easily acquire”, that doesn’t make sense Cody.

      1. Hulu is the worst, because they just have short-term contracts for the content [because the content owners currently also own Hulu]. Once somebody else gets suckered into buying it, they can just put up their hands and hand over their wallet to be able to keep displaying the content.

  2. Clearly he doesn’t understand Apple’s underlying raison d’être:
    Apple NEVER enters a market they can’t excel in by dramatically increasing the user experience. NONE of those companies are worth buying for Apple. They don’t really add anything and Apple can’t really help them (with the possible exception of Netflix).

    1. Yes but if Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes were merged into a new product that had the best of all those worlds, then I imagine it would be dramatically improved from what any of those have on their own, especially with Apple overseeing them.

      1. Garmin, on the other hand, is an outdated physical product that no longer needs a physical body. Software has already replaced this and it is dying. That would be like recommending they buy a physical CD manufacturing plant, or a company holding patents to VHS technology.

  3. Yes! Love this list. But I wish apple were more focused on where technology can be going in the future, more so than just entertainment and convenience. Technology and biology are going to merge very soon, and I would be scared as shit having Google branded nanobots in my blood stream instead of Apple ones. Come on, Apple, hire a technological prophet with some foresight. Steve Jobs would be all over this.

    1. Why would Apple buy any of them?

      Hulu and Netflix own no content and content is King. Better to leave Sandisk and ARM right where they are and if needed, use as suppliers; they take nothing away from Apple. Garmin?! WTF, had to be a joke right.

      Disney would be a much better choice. Besides the stacks of content Disney already has, they also own a pot load of media groups, networks, studios, publishing, ESPN Inc, interactive media, Marvel, Motion Picture group – such as Lucas, Pixar, Skywalker sound. Didn’t even mention the Music, product licensing or resorts. The list is pretty freak’n long, look it up.

      Apple could become and INSTANT player in the content business. And as they say, “content is king”.

      1. Absolutely!!! I’ve been touting Disney for a year or more. You left out that they would also get ESPN’s owner, ABC.

        Here’s the interesting part. Apple has been buying back shares for a while now. The conventional explanation of giving back to shareholders just never made sense to me. Why not simply pay a very substantial dividend, maybe even a huge one-time dividend, and watch the stock price soar? Why borrow to spend $100M buying back stock? Yeah, I know, it’s cheap money and all. But what if Apple offered Disney a buyout paid for in part with Apple stock? What if it’s TC’s way of financing the buyout?

  4. Cody,
    There’s a reason Apple has not acquired any of those companies.

    If you can figure out why they haven’t done so you might gain far more insight into good and bad business ventures.

    Learn something new instead of trying to tell Apple what they should do.

  5. Eff that list, seriously they just need to buy Google. Go ahead and hate on that idea all you want. But I would love to see the entire internet currently run by Google being transformed to a cleaner, safer, Apple-run Internet. When you think of all the benefits, they are insane: enterprise services, web services, YouTube content ads and content providers, Google Fiber, Google X, Ray Kurzweil, the future. Google is unfortunately not going to stop growing, and grabbing it now while it’s attainable would be a good move.

    1. ” grabbing it now while it’s attainable would be a good move.”

      That’s part of the problem right there. Google has a market cap of over $360 Billion. Apple doesn’t have that. Even the cash it does have, a lot of it is out of the country. Apple would have to take out massive debt (hundreds of billions) just to purchase Google without a premium over market cap. However, the premium over market cap would be huge considering the people involved.

      And then you end up with two major issues…

      One is culture clash. Apple is very focused and Google is very broad. Google is a company driven by making stuff cheap, and profiting off advertising enhanced through user-data. Apple is a company driven by making the very best products it can in a narrow range and enhancing that by making them work together in an ecosystem, which is then all priced on a margin of roughly 30%. Apple values privacy, Google values user-data. Bringing user-data to Apple destroys one of the things Apple prides itself on. Bringing privacy to Google destroys Google’s revenue model. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to bash Google (or Apple), just to point out different their models (that obviously both appeal to different people).

      Additionally, Google is fine with uncontrolled growth as a company, thus their broad focus, while the executive team at Apple really doesn’t like the idea of being a big mega-corporation. They like being successful so that they can do the projects they want to do, but they don’t want to manage a bazillion product managers of every conceivable product.

      1. You’re absolutely right. Google’s broadness is what tricked me into thinking they are going to be tomorrow’s leaders, but I guess I just need to have the faith that Apple will see the future and do it better on their own without Google or any other company, just as they always have.

  6. Here we go again, people wanting to tell Apple how to run their business.

    Unfortunately the reality is, Apple will make their own mistakes, now or later. You would hope they would buy your favorite company. But just like quantum mechanics, – lets call it the “acquisition effect” – as soon as you interfere with something, it changes or falls apart. So even if it makes good sense to you now for them to buy your list or Google, or whatever, you most likely will not like the end result.

    It’s better for Apple to buy something we don’t know, so we have no love lost for the change. We won’t notice… See how that works? Beats was a good buy, only because their streaming product was new, nothing to loose, everything to gain, so was Siri and iTunes.

    With that said, every future purchase is going to be a mystery, until the deal is done.

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