Apple still isn’t No. 1 in one big way

Apple just had a banner year, even as many S&P 500 companies suffer due to COVID-19 lockdowns in certain areas. But there’s still a key financial measure where Apple’s not No.1: Revenue.

Apple logo

Matt Krantz for Investor’s Business Daily:

The giant technology company still ranked third, behind Walmart and Amazon.com, in terms of revenue in 2020, says an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith.

Revenue-watching is in style as investors wonder where growth will come from as the pandemic rages on. Walmart Thursday reported January-quarter revenue of $151 billion, topping top-line views by 2%…

Thanks to a powerful fourth-quarter for smartphone sales, Apple’s 2020 net income hit $63.9 billion. That’s more than any other S&P 500 company, by far. And it’s nearly 25% more than what No. 2, Microsoft, reported in profit.

Analysts are calling for Apple to post revenue of $333.5 billion this fiscal year ended in September. If that’s correct, it would mark powerful 21% top-line growth. But get this, Apple’s revenue would still be 40% less than the $567.3 billion in revenue Walmart is expected to post in its current fiscal year. And it’s 29% less than Amazon’s forecasted $473 billion in 2021 revenue.

MacDailyNews Take: Walmart’s net income in 2020 was $13.5 billion. Amazon’s was $21.33 billion.

Apple’s net income in calendar* 2020, the number Krantz uses above, was $63.9 billion.

Apple made a profit of $29.07 billion more than the top two revenue generators, Walmart and Amazon combined.

Having to generate far more revenue in order to earn far less profit, like Walmart and Amazon vs. Apple, is hardly a crown worth having. Low-margin inefficiency is not laudatory.

*Apple’s fiscal 2020 net income, ended September 26, 2020, was $57.411 billion or $22.581 billion more than Walmart and Amazon combined.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

22 Comments

      1. I assumed that Tau Myx was simply making a quick parallel point about end users having access to wholesale pricing since places like Amazon, Costco, or Walmart appeared on the scene? Plus the fact, none of these corporations are truly building anything. They’re just selling stuff other’s create.

        In that sense, the Tau is right. I wasn’t picking up a disagreement with MDM’s fully fleshed out point. Paying less for the same essentials you’d pay more for is generally seen as a good thing for consumers. At least in the short or medium run.

        Wholesale pricing for end users has been very hard on local businesses, but one hopes they have been nimble and shifted their models to do what the big boys cannot do. For one, offer personalized, faster, more friendly service. Either way, Big Box stores online and in person are not likely to go away in my lifetime. They’re a return to “The General Store”

        When it comes to the design of sophisticated, top of the line technology, low margin doesn’t seem to work well in our capitalistic ways. Too tempting to cut corners to grab for the pennies you’re trying to harvest with volume.

        Most of the stuff I’ve read over the past couple of decades indicated that Apple has anywhere between 25-40% margins on what they sell. RAM and SSD upgrades on BTO Macs are just one area where that soars even higher. The market seems to support it. At least for now. Maybe they could start including stock options with every purchase over $1000? 😅

          1. Sorry you feel that way and somehow find this a partisan discussion. Obviously, I feel differently with no need to insult your political persuasion as part of my argument.

            1. Well, you didn’t call anyone a “libtard,” so I’d say we’re making progress. 😁

              Truth is I don’t know either one of you, but I’m more of an “oldie” that has read MDN from its beginning, but took some years off in the commenting department when people stopped discussing Apple Tech and had to resort to ad hominem retorts to try and make their points.

              I can be as partisan as they come, but time and place, GoeB. Time and place.

              Sometimes even someone you like to think of an “idiot” can be right once in awhile. You can always roll with the famous broken clock analogy if necessary.

            2. Tau Myx Is an idiot and Libtard, Mick. Honesty is my definition of “progress.”

              Agree and normally no need to insult, but in this case what goes around, comes around. The proverbial fight fire with fire, you’ll see.

              I too have been reading MDN since the beginning, but have not used the same screen name all along.

              I do appreciate and agree with you that sometimes a person you normally disagree with can be right and will certainly recognize it.

              Still waiting…

  1. Yeah, I totally agree with MDM here. What a funny, almost useless comparison as if higher revenue would in any way indicate greater success at something. Who cares? “Net” is all that matters. Sheesh!

    I’m an AAPL bull too and have owned it since the late 90s when people thought I was a raving MacLunatic. Well, I was, sort of, but like many of you here, I was RIGHT. I was righter than I ever dreamed of being, but I was right.

    AAPL just hit all time highs a few weeks ago and while I own AMZN as well, I believe in the church that Rev. Steve built. It will be back. It’s too hard to stay away from such an amazing profit machine and Apple’s juicy margins.

    It’s not gross. It’s gorgeous net that matters.

    1. For an investor sure. For the customer, not so much. The sellers profit runs contrary to the customer’s interest. And a fan is one who values the object’s interest over their own.

    2. IMO Higher revenue with lower profit vs lower revenue with higher profit may be seen as a cash flow metric. The former shows a company that moves money and helps the economy it is connected with, the latter could be interpreted as cash flow stagnant since the cash ‘collects’ and doesn’t benefit the economy as much.

      1. The center of “Steve’s Church” is an empty hole and a giant rainbow, I’ll take Christ’s Cross over that any day. The tech is innovative but without morality you get depravity and tyranny, today’s Apple would develop Concentration Camp OS as long as it aligned with “our values” of the moment. Cancel culture is a dress rehearsal for genocide, Apple is on board so far.

  2. It’s 2021 and it seems like people STILL can’t accept that Apple is an innovative company that puts out great products. It’s hard to believe that some people are still trying to drag out a nearly 30 year long anti-Apple grudge in an era when most people have iPhones with Macs and iPads taking in a respectable about of users.

  3. My Mac IIci still boots 🥾 So iGot THAT going for me … which is nice. Right ZuneTang? … ZuneTang? Where are you? 😉 How’s that Storm workin out for YA? BTW …. still have yet to sell AAPL SINCE 1990. M1 🤔🧐😬.

    These SNOWFLAKE wannabes have no comprehension of APPLE’s DNA. iCall it Naysayer NOISE!

    Who needs profit when you have a better percentage of MARKET SHARE!!! GMAFBA. M1 😉 iBuy more Apples 🍎 come Monday morning 💥

  4. Look at the markets for Walmart and Apple. People shop for Walmart products every day. Bread, milk, cheaper electronics, cheaper clothes, etc. Few consumers spend bigger bucks on an Apple MacBook Pro. Those who hoarily do so are pleased with their purchase – others buy a cheaper PC and I assume they are also happy,

    There is nothing wrong with either market, or company serving those markets. It’s simply a consumer choice and the company profits reflect the success of addressing those choices.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.