- Feb 21st 2013
- CMP: $446
- Global #1 Cap – Mkt Cap $ 421 billion.
- Advice: Buy
Note our more recent Feb 2015 note on Apple
This week, a subscriber asked me a simple sounding question … What do you think of Apple at this point?
Let me try to answer this ….
This iconic American firm is an innovation powerhouse. It has created new products with so much originality, usability and technology finesse that it has created new markets for itself.
- The Macintosh showed that Apple had the streak of innovation decades ago (launch in 1984).
- Tens of manufacturers struggled with Tablets for years, with no success. Apple launched iPad, and showed them how (launch 2010). Ditto a bit earlier for iPods (launch 2001).
- In mobiles, the success is even more amazing. In a crowded market, with many success stories, and tens of fierce competitors, Apple launched iPhone (in 2007), a single model, with 2-3 variants, a premium pricing, and a limited network alliance (in the USA). And the top end of the market exploded.
- Its iTunes that binds these products together beautifully with the application ecosystem, music, video and payment systems.
- Steve Jobs, the Chairman and Founder of Apple Inc is a legend for his leadership and focus, which has pretty much taken Apple on this pioneering path. We lost him in 2011, and Tim Cook took over as CEO of Apple.
- In Sept 2012, Apple Inc shares were $700, and market cap at $656 billion, making it by far the most valuable company in the world.
Cut to today
- The Apple innovation machine continues relentlessly. The new iPhone 5 is better and selling well. The iPad mini expands the market with premium features at a lower price point.
- See Apple financials in Fig 1 with revenue in USD m (LHS) and Margins in %, EPS in USD and P/E on RHS
- Revenues, EBITDA and EPS have grown at 54%, 68% and 72% CAGR respectively over the last 4 years.
- Markets like India are summarily dismissed as ‘not big enough’ to warrant corporate attention :-)
- However, the Apple share price is $449, down 36% in 5 months, and market cap is $421 billion.
- The cash and cash equivalents on hand at Apple is $137 billion (about $146 per share). Last year profits were $42 billion.
- PE of Apple is at a 5 year low, of about 10 times, see Fig 2.
So, what’s gone wrong?
- Apple it seemed did not know what to do with its massive profits. And profits, unless shared with shareholders, or used in good capital investments, earn very little in a bank account.
- Things are now changing a bit …. Shareholders started receiving a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share from July 1, 2012. Share buybacks began in the fiscal year starting Sept. 30 2012 and happen over three years. So now, Apple plans to return $45 billion to its shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases over the next three years.
And what’s the outlook for Apple at this point?
- Excited by consumer euphoria, massive profits and a seemingly unstoppable share price rise, the investor is now rattled by the big fall and uncertainty.
- Looks like the recent announcements have not sunk into the investor psyche yet.
- At a PE of 10 times, the valuation is at a 5 year low. With revenues and profits growing by 54% and 72% a year, the outlook is rosy. The forward dividend yield is 2.3%.
- With these new announcements, and the Apple management working in the right direction, Apple today is a buy.
JainMatrix Knowledge Base:
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Disclosure: It is safe to assume that if the JainMatrix website recommends a stock, the researcher has already invested in it, if he can (Apple isn’t listed in India) .
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