Print 42 comment(s) - last by weskurtz0081.. on Aug 21 at 11:11 PM

Apple's market cap surpasses Microsoft in its 1990s hey-day

CNN Money carried an interesting story on Monday entitled "Apple is now the most valuable company of all time".  Similar headlines soon abounded.

Indeed Apple, Inc. (AAPL), despite a "bad" quarter which would be cause for celebration for just about anyone else, has soared in value over the last decade with the success of the iPod, then the iPhone, and most recently the iPad.  From 2000 to present, shares increased from a market cap of $8B USD to $623B USD.  For comparison's sake gold -- typically consider a massive commodities success story -- has only ballooned from $238 USD per oz. to $1640 USD per oz. at last count.

So when Apple's soaring stock set a market capitalization record of $623B USD (at $665.15 USD/share) -- more than the $618.9B USD Microsoft was worth (according to investors) in Dec. 30 at the height of so-called "dot com bubble".

But for all the streamers and confetti, the claim that Apple is the "most valuable of all time/in all of history" isn’t accurate.  Value is based on the worth of the currency at the time.

"Siri, who is the most valuable company in all of history?" Ding ding.. "In today's dollars Microsoft in 1999 would be." [Image Source: AP Photo]

In 2010 dollars, Microsoft's $618B USD valuation would be over $820B USD.  While inflation data is still being finalized for last year, it would likely be somewhere in the ballpark of $850B USD in today's money (The Columbia Journalism Review says $856B USD in today's money, although it admits to goofing by saying that International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM) in 1967 was the most valuable, failing to realize that the data it was working off of was already adjusted).  

The headlines are particularly troubling, given that even a simple Wikipedia search would have revealed the truth (Wikipedia pegs Microsoft's peak value at $846B USD in today's money).

In other words, Apple still has to grow by another third in order to truly become the most valuable of all time.

Still, it is fair to lavish Apple with some praise.  The company was most profitable tech firm for 2011 and third in total profits.  For 2012 Apple is expected to be the most profitable American firm.

Those profits could soar even higher if Apple succeeds in its court bid to ban rival Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KSC:005930) devices from the American market -- the world's most lucrative and second largest smartphone market.

But Apple has a long hard road ahead to become truly the biggest company in history.  For now, it is merely in a small crowd of historic elites.

Sources: CNN Money, CJR

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By ritualm on 8/21/2012 2:00:58 PM , Rating: 2

There is little competition, in fact you are crazy to increase production - and thus, supply - for a necessary commodity when you can make more money with less produced. Consumers hate high spot prices for gasoline, but what other choices do they have? EVs are barely viable as is, and only good for those rich enough to afford detached housing with their own electrical outlets to top up their motorized babies overnight.

High oil prices deal more damage than a roundhouse kick to the money books of oil-consuming nations everywhere, and the only folks who benefit are 1) oil producing states, 2) oil companies, and 3) speculative commodity traders. All three want oil prices as high as possible without risking total financial meltdown.

You are the one smoking crack.

By Ringold on 8/21/2012 2:27:11 PM , Rating: 2
There is little competition, in fact you are crazy to increase production

Yep, which is why they plough hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in hostile environments in odd corners of the planet. Maybe it's a little more complicated, huh?

Then look at our domestic gas market.

In a competitive market, and oil with its number of different actors is competitive, supply will expand until price equals marginal cost. Thats what we see domestically, and internationally one of the only countries with any slack capacity is Saudi Arabia, and its debated how much they have. The rest of OPEC in theory has slack, but in practice appear to pumping flat-out, OPEC production quotas be damned.

Some people just can't see past their own indoctrinated hate.

The only caveat to all this is that the worlds largest oil producers are state-owned, and light-years behind private firms in efficiency and technology. But still, you don't know what you're talking about.

By ritualm on 8/21/2012 2:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
Care to explain how many new oil refineries were built in the past decade?

The answer? You can figure out with your fingers alone.

Why produce more supply when you're already laughing all the way to the bank?

By weskurtz0081 on 8/21/2012 3:37:14 PM , Rating: 2
So, you think the oil companies haven't made new refineries because they are trying to keep the price of oil high?

By Ringold on 8/21/2012 7:09:47 PM , Rating: 2
Notice too another sign he doesn't know what he's talking about: lumping oil companies in with refiners. In a lot of cases, oil majors have spun off their refinery operations over the last couple decades, so they two groups are fairly distinct sectors. Independent refiners would love cheap oil to get unloaded at their terminals. But all he knows is he hates capitalism and traditional energy sources, he doesn't know any details.

By Ringold on 8/21/2012 7:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
Care to explain how many new oil refineries were built in the past decade?

Thanks for asking! Fantastic question! Why don't you tell me how many NEW refineries were attempted to be built in the US over the past decade, but failed in the face of environmental protests?

I know of at least 2 large ones. You apparently know of none, otherwise you'd of not asked such a retarded question. You don't know what it is you propagandize on.

Furthermore, refiners are hardly laughing all the way to the bank of a regular basis. They've mostly been tooled for light-sweet crude, of which we're able to get our hands on less of, so they've had expensive upgrade costs to handle more sulfur-laden oil. The crack spreads between a barrel of oil and what they can get for its resulting distillates has many times over the last 10 and 20 years been awful.

And despite all that, we export a small amount of refined product, so they make enough to satiate local demand, if not be a major exporter. We have the technical expertise so could easily be a major exporter, but again, missed opportunity -- economic green terrorists.

Again, you appear to not know anything besides what some 30-second left-wing attack ad might've told you, or some Marxist at Huffington Post. Got any other ridiculous assertion though, or give up?

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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