Print 24 comment(s) - last by michael2k.. on May 11 at 9:52 AM

Apple surpasses tech giants like Google, IBM and Microsoft

The annual BrandZ study of the world's top 100 brands, which is produced by agency Millward Brown, has declared Apple as the world's most valuable brand

Apple, which was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, is a consumer electronics and computer software corporation that has designed and marketed several new popular products in recent years. For instance, the iPod lineup has offered a variety of music players to the market, and the Mac series has made personal computers useful for the creative community as well as those looking for a new computing experience.

More recently, Apple released its own smartphone called the iPhone as well as tablets called the iPad and iPad 2. In addition, Apple is working on new services that will broaden the use and experience of Apple devices, such as the cloud music platform for music and media storage, which may be called iCloud.

This portfolio of consumer products along with an increasing presence in both corporate and home environments has thrust Apple to the number one position in the world's top 100 brands. In fact, Apple is now worth $153 billion.

"Apple is breaking the rules in terms of its pricing model," said Peter Walshe. "It's doing what luxury brands do, where the higher price the brand is, the more it seems to underpin and reinforce the desire. Obviously, it has to be allied to great products and great experience, and Apple has nurtured that."

In the top 10 of the list, Apple beat huge technology and telecoms companies as well as other popular corporations. The top 10 of the list of 100 is as follows, from number one to number 10: Apple, Google, IBM, McDonald's, Microsoft, Coca Cola, AT&T, Marlboro, China Mobile, and General Electric. 

Other brands scattered around the top 100 were Visa at number 20, which is valued at $28.5 billion, and Facebook at number 35, which is valued at 19.1 billion. Also, Toyota is the first automaker on the list at number 27.  

With all 100 companies combined, the total value of the top 100 brands is $2.4 trillion, which rose by 17 percent as the global economy "shifted to growth." The top 100 brands list employs the opinions of over 2 million consumers worldwide.

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RE: Really?
By Solandri on 5/9/2011 12:39:16 PM , Rating: 4
This might blow your mind, but Apple's market cap is higher than Microsoft's.

The problem with market capitalization in this case is that neither Apple nor Google pay dividends. As another poster here put it, their stocks are baseball card stocks. Their value is entirely speculative, not linked in any direct way to the company's performance. You buy them just to be able to say you own them, and because someone in the future might want to buy them from you. Not because they have any intrinsic value.

RE: Really?
By michael2k on 5/9/2011 3:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
That's not accurate either. Look at EPS:

OR P/E(Price/Earnings):

So in that sense if anyone is overvalued, it's GOOG and MCD before AAPL, with MSFT slightly undervalued.

If you're going to complain about the market, you should educate yourself, because it's actually a fairly easy way to get rich. Buy yourself some AAPL, IBM, and MCD, and you should make yourself some easy money because most people, like you, are ignorant of how the market works. 16 is a phenomenally low PE ratio for a company that is growing like Apple. Traditionally a company of Apple's growth has a PE much closer to 20, like Google.

RE: Really?
By Solandri on 5/9/2011 5:04:02 PM , Rating: 3
All I'm saying is that the whole rationale of linking stock price to P/E ratio goes out the window when the stock doesn't pay dividends. The E in P/E is Earnings, or roughly how much the company earned per share. Normally, as a shareholder, you are a part-owner of the company, and thus entitled to a fraction of the earnings - a dividend. But if there are no dividends, the company's earnings are not reflected in the shares, so the P/E ratio is meaningless. Sure you can still use P/E as a guideline for how to price the stock, but that's how much it should be worth if it paid dividends. But it doesn't, so it isn't.

Couple that with the shares having reduced or no voting rights, and essentially AAPL and GOOG stock don't really represent owning part of the company. They're more like limited edition pieces of paper certified by Apple and Google as being authentic limited edition pieces of paper. In other words - baseball cards.

I'm not saying they're worthless - the value of something is always how much someone is willing to pay you for it. A friend of mine made a fortune importing and selling Pokemon cards, even though he personally thought they were the stupidest things and worthless. I'm just saying the logic used to value regular stocks doesn't apply to AAPL and GOOG.

RE: Really?
By michael2k on 5/9/2011 6:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
P/E ratio is fully valid in this context, perhaps Price/Dividend is what you're complaining about?

P/E doesn't display anything except how expensive a stock is and how much people expect it to grow. If growth fails to match expectations then price drops and product becomes less expensive.

In other words, it's an estimate on how valuable the stock will be based on the last twelve months of earnings and future projected earnings.

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