Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dr. Evil* Would Be Impressed

Apple’s astonishing rise from the ashes of tech irrelevance has been chronicled endlessly. The story about Apple’s growth has become the story, pushing aside reviews of the shiny new iPad (hard to believe it was introduced only three weeks ago) and even the prototype of the new iPhone that was left accidentally (?) in Gourmet Haus Staudt, a Redwood City bar. With only a few minor stumbles Apple has churned out hit after hit (iBook/MacBook, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad) year after year. Meryl Streep or the New York Yankees have been known to top last year’s performance, but try doing it every year for 13 years.

Logic says defying gravity can’t continue. Organizations reach a certain size, and growth has to slow, at least that’s what they used to teach in B-school. Apple is now the most valuable company in the Bay Area, leaving in the dust such titans as Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Intel, and Google.
With the total value of its publicly traded stock at $224 billion [update: on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, the day after the earnings announcement, Apple is $235 billion], up 107 percent from a year ago, Apple now has a market capitalization greater than all but two companies in the United States, Exxon Mobil and Microsoft.
But the talk has really gotten frothy when people start projecting a $1,000 price for a stock that closed at $259 today. One analyst was willing to be quoted on the $1,000: does he realize that Apple’s valuation would be close to one trillion dollars!?!

I’m going to head down to Gourmet Haus Staudt for a few cold ones.

*Movie quote: (Number Two: 'Dr. Evil, wouldn't it be easier to use your knowledge of the future to play the stock market? We could literally make trillions!') "Why make trillions when we could make... billions?" - Dr. Evil, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me [okay, it was really funny in the movie]

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