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Businesses The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple's Long Road To $300 264

Posted by samzenpus
from the long-strange-trip dept.
itwbennett writes "Apple shares inched over $300 for the first time Wednesday, nearly 30 years after Apple's initial public offering in December 1980. But it hasn't been a steady climb. In fact, says blogger Chris Nurney, 'Apple's stock history can be divided into two clear periods — the early years, from the IPO through Steve Jobs's long absence from the company after losing a power struggle in 1985, and the modern Jobs era, which began on September 16, 1997.' The bottom line: 'If you had purchased $10,000 of Apple stock the same month that Jobs again began leading the company, your shares would be worth $554,000 today. Not a bad return on the investment.'"
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Apple's Long Road To $300

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  • Re:Bad news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nursie (632944) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @04:50AM (#33891414)

    Is the "amazing windows mobile 7" shill some sort of meme? Are all the cool kids doing it?

    I'm beginning to find it quite amusing. If ever there was a platform that was late to the market and consumers aren't interested in, it's windows mobile.

    The ways of business are strange and inscrutable, but in the consumer market who is going to actually purposefully buy a windows phone?

  • Re:Bad news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Etiko (1391455) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:08AM (#33891490)
    "but in the consumer market who is going to actually purposefully buy a windows phone?"

    Me?

    Initial reviews have been good [gsmarena.com] and the development environment for Windows Phone 7 is one of the best I've worked in. Expect lots of great games and apps for this platform.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:10AM (#33891498)

    Your long random rampling about how great your life is and how miserable people that own stocks and shares and money are makes me think that maybe you actually aren't that happy but are you just trying to tell that to yourself...

  • by lisaparratt (752068) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:11AM (#33891500)

    Money doesn't have to be the endin itself, it can be the means to an end. They may have just invested because they had fond memories of their Apple ][. Just by chance, they now might have the luxury of being able to geek away to their hearts content, without having to worry about the roof over their head, or where the next packet of cheetos is going to come from. Given the propensity for nerds to give their work away, this is quite a beneficial state for them to be in.

  • Re:Bad news (Score:0, Insightful)

    by odies (1869886) * on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:13AM (#33891518)

    +1. WM7 looks like the best thing happened to the mobile world in a long time.

  • by bkmoore (1910118) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:17AM (#33891528)
    As a long-time Apple investor, I am not terribly surprised that Apple has finally cracked the $300 dollar barrier. The reason I am bullish on Apple and have been for over ten years is that Apple has repeatedly shown it has the ability to find a technical product or market, analyze what is wrong with the current offerings and make a ground breaking product that basically redefines that market. That was the reason the original Apple 2 was successful. You didn't have to know how to wield a soldering iron to have an affordable home computer. The Macintosh again redefined the market by making a mouse-based graphical user interface widely available. Sure others went there first with the Altair proceeding the Apple 2, or the Xerox Alto proceeding the Macintosh, but both products had technical or cost flaws that crippled their chances in the market. This is the same basic formula that Steve Jobs applied to mp3 music players, online music and video sales, cell phones, and most recently tablets. He wasn't the first one to invent these things, but he was the one who was able to see where the short comings were and come up with a better product. Technical users can trash talk Apples products all they want and rant about how brand x's offering can do so much more and costs so much less, but the proof is in the sales. Apple only makes 30 or so products, so they can focus on each product with laser-beam intensity and make it the best in its market. I can't even count how many products Sony, Dell or HP make. Some are great, others are trash. People like Apple's products and keep buying them as fast as Apple can make them. So as long as Apple is able to continue with this business model, I will remain bullish on Apple.
  • Re:Bad news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by anerki (169995) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:18AM (#33891534)

    It works for Android, none of the consumers know and purposefully buy Android, they just buy 'a' smartphone that's not a Blackberry and not an iPhone. Nobody knows RIM, iOS, Android with all the versions, etc. Only the technical people do, and we hardly make up or even affect the consumer market (or Linux would've made it a _long_ time ago)

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:20AM (#33891546)

    Maybe you should respect that other people have broader interests than you? I personally find it interesting that a vertically-integrated software and hardware company could become a serious part of the economy, after seeing the aftermath of Commodore two decades ago. If this offends you so, you can go stand with the dipshits who can't stand SF clogging up precious sports time in the TV schedule.

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:21AM (#33891550)

    There is nothing fundamentally sound about apple stock -- it is a company that sells overpriced inessential consumer items ... The stock price is riding on hype, not on merit. Once the hype goes away (and it will) there'll be a lot of people burned.

    I made a good chunk of cash on Apple stock this year, but IMHO only idiots would seriously invest in it for the long term.

    Awwell, not so important anyway, enjoy your flamewar.

    There's nothing fundamentally sound about the pet rock either, yet it made the "inventor" a millionaire.

    And your comment about once the hype "goes away" is laughable. Kids have been lining up at Apple stores like it was Black Friday, drooling for the latest and greatest tech for years now.

  • Re:Bad news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thePig (964303) <{rajmohan_h} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:21AM (#33891558) Journal

    I was thinking that Windows Mobile 7 would be a big hit in the enterprise market.
    Windows Mobile 7 will be a big danger not to Apple, rather to Blackberry.
    They can go for the best Office/Documents/Outlook integration possible - and who would not love it?
    I have not seen many phones which can properly format a moderately complex .docx file as of now - this is where Windows Mobile 7 can enter the market and capture it.

  • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:41AM (#33891610) Homepage
    Pretty much all consumer-goods are "inessential" - that by itself is no indication of anything. If it was, Coca Cola, Apple, Starbucks and basically anyone who sells any kind of luxury-goods, would be worth zip.
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:44AM (#33891626)

    There is nothing fundamentally sound about apple stock -- it is a company that sells overpriced inessential consumer items ...

    They sell those overpriced luxury items to a loyal, expanding base of consumers with large disposable incomes, following a consistent yearly schedule of product releases and upgrades. And that's been the state of their business for the best part of a decade. As an investor, it's practically everything you could ask for in a consumer goods company.

  • Re:Bad news" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Etiko (1391455) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:47AM (#33891632)
    We are talking about the "consumer market" here and Apple is proof enough that the average consumer does not care about openess and freedom.
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @05:55AM (#33891662)

    If the only thing you see in an article about Apple's stock price is what it means for their investors' bank balances, I humbly suggest that you are the one who is obsessed with money.

  • by Jazz-Masta (240659) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @06:04AM (#33891700)

    And that same year (2001) iPod was released. Think about that. For almost 3 years after iPod's release, you could still have bought Apple at a bargain basement price. It took a long time for Wall Street to shed the malaise it had with Apple after the late 80s and early/mid-90s decline.

    Also remember that iPod sales didn't begin to explode until after Apple released the Windows compatible iTunes. Sure, MusicMatch would work in 2002, but it has hacked together at best and not many people knew about it.

    The 3rd gen (late April 2003) came with Windows compatible iTunes. It was the 4th gen in Oct 2004 that really began to pick up.

    So the iPod for those 2 years was only officially compatible with Mac (5-8% market share depending on where you get your stats). Limiting yourself to within that market share isn't a very good idea.

  • Re:Bad news" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by trickyD1ck (1313117) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @06:15AM (#33891752)
    Is forcing own ethics on others ethical? I for one judge technology on basis of merit, not ideology.

    Maybe that makes me a good person, and it probably makes your philosophical conclusion less valid and your movement less worthy.
  • We can trade anecdotes all day, but I've been using Macs since OS 5 (Lisa baby) and NT since 3.51 (missed the bad days) and I think you're full of crap. Just trying to do work on classic OS Macs with Adobe applications is often enough to crash the machine several times per day. I've probably used almost as many different macs as different PCs by this point, every major and minor version... and I'm immeasurably thankful to put all that crap behind me.

    With that said, NT4 was a huge step backwards. While Apple has been getting better Microsoft has been getting worse, steadily. Today there is no compelling technical advantage to windows over MacOS. It has some improved security features but overall less security baked-in. I would certainly take OSX over Windows 7. I just don't want either.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:21AM (#33892048)

    The only way you can make money from Apple shares is by selling Apple shares

    And the only way you can make money from diamonds is by selling diamonds. Ergo, diamonds are valueless, and it's all a huge bubble. You twit.

    You get a pyramid scheme or bubble when there's a disconnect between the actual value of the item being speculated upon, and the price that is placed on it by the speculators. Apple's got a high share price right now because they're raking in a truly comical amount of money with a hugely successful line of high-margin consumer goods. The company is actually worth a great deal more than it was in 2004. No bubble.

  • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:33AM (#33892108) Homepage
    Diamonds, at least theoretically, have value beyond their resale price - for example they look nice. Apple stock has no value beyond their resale price as they don't pay dividends and I don't know many people who buy stocks just so they can frame the certificates. That's what the OP meant by calling it a "bubble" - the stocks themselves aren't useful for anything except passing them on to somebody else.
  • by Vaphell (1489021) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:42AM (#33892152)

    does Apple pay dividends or are stockholders just a bunch of people agreeing that a piece of paper is worth $n because fertility rate of penguins skyrocketed? After all penguins and performance of Apple have exactly the same influence over the price of stocks, which is 0. People think it matters but they are wrong. Dividends are what allows to evaluate realistic value of stocks. Without that you just trade a piece of paper and your investment is all about finding a greater sucker once you want to get your money back.

    How is that different from housing market which crashed not that long ago? 'It can only go up' bullshit and people lined up to buy only to flip the house to somebody else. House doesn't pay for itself (unless you are into rentals) so it's not much of an investment, your only hope is to find a greater sucker. Stock market full of dividend-less stocks is just a game of hot potato, last one will get burned and wiped out.

  • by John Betonschaar (178617) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @08:02AM (#33892314)

    Dude, Apple has taken over half of all the money made in the smartphone market, they basically created the entire market for consumer tablets, their Mac business has been growing faster than the entire PC industry year-over-year, for the last 10 years, they have launched the most successful online music store, they've owned a very significant part of the PMP market since 2001, they have been raking in profits around $2 billion a quarter the last few years, their sales have been largely unaffected by the global downturn, their stock price has increased 50-fold in less than 10 years, their competitors are scrambling to imitate about everything they have created over the last decade, and still you keep insisting that it's just hype, it's inflated, that everyone is living in a reality distortion field, they are overrated and they are rolling on hipster hype?

    Really, if you honestly believe all this yourself, you are the one living in a reality distortion field, and I sincerely think you should get your head checked. Not liking Apple stuff is perfectly fine, but you'd have to be a first-class idiot to be so myopic and unable to look beyond your own little world to think like this. I really feel sorry for you if you're so jaded you can't get over the fact not everyone is like you when it comes to computer and gadgetry preferences.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @08:15AM (#33892430)
    I wish I had mod points right now. Apple stock is worthless. Your only hope of getting your money back is to find another sucker to pay you as much or more than you paid. Ideally, a stock should pay a dividend that will pay me back what I paid for the stock over a period of time (what that period of time is depends on various factors--age of the investor, inflation rate, etc). The price that other people are willing to pay for the stock is just a bonus.
    If a stock does not pay a dividend, you may as well "invest" your money at the casinos.
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @08:20AM (#33892472)

    Y'know, calling you a twit was unjustifiably douchebaggy of me, and I apologise for that unconditionally.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @08:35AM (#33892670) Journal

    The "OMG I must invest in Apple right now!" moment was when they introduced the iPod Nano.

    For me it was the day that Apple announced they were buying NeXT. If Amelio had picked Be instead, then Apple, Be, and NeXT would all have vanished almost a decade ago.

    -jcr

  • by jcr (53032) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @08:54AM (#33892988) Journal

    You greatly underestimate the level of senior executive talent at Apple. I've met seven of Apple's senior VPs, and there are several people there who could run the company quite well. They wouldn't have Steve's panache of course, but when it comes to making decisions of what products and features to go with, Steve's not the only person at Apple who can do that right.

    One thing that people don't realize about Steve, is that he's done an amazing job of recruitment. Tim Cook is probably probably the best operations exec in the world. Ron Johnson took Apple retail from a standing start to a billion in revenues in less time than any other retail operation in history. Eddy Cue made Apple the biggest music retailer in the world. Sina Tamadon basically took over the pro video market from Avid, and the list goes on.

    -jcr

  • by milwcoder (1132835) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @09:13AM (#33893328)

    If valuing based on dividends, you need to consider the possibility of the company growing for several years, and, upon reaching mature state, starts to pay dividends. In a few years time, earnings may have grown several times due to reinvestment and growth, and the resulting annual dividend payout would be a sizable amount. You'd get a justifiable price today by discounting the hypothetical payout.

    However, many things could happen between now and then. Management can hoard the money and give themselves big bonuses, buy out/crush competition at significant premium, issue more stocks thus diluting the dividends, or the company could grow in size but keeping profits low (thus low dividends if any). These factors have to do with the quality of governance, safeguarding shareholders interests.

    A shrewd investor should gauge the real possibility of the company being run into the ground by its management and board of directors.

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Thursday October 14, 2010 @09:14AM (#33893360)

    They wouldn't have Steve's panache of course,

          My argument is that once you take away said "panache", what's left? It's not the hardware that's amazing. It's certainly not selling because of price. It's not diversification that keeps the Apple/iCon stores going. It's not because Apple is the de facto market leader in cell phones, PDA's, MP3 players or computers. It's Steve Jobs, plugging his products to the world and carving out his (I'll be generous) 10%. However these toys (because that's what they are) are impossible to justify in a business setting because of price - there are cheaper, fully functional alternatives. Apple will always be the product for teenagers to show off at school ("look what daddy bought me for Christmas!"), or for idiots who bought the whole argument about Apple computers/software being "flawless", or those who are just too lazy to think, learn and comparison shop.

  • by Vaphell (1489021) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:11AM (#33894556)

    when you put your money in the bank, you expect to get n% every year. That helps you to estimate viability of your investment. Same thing with stocks with dividends. You see company's profits, you estimate how much they pay the shareholders, you calculate how many years is required for the investment in that stock to pay for itself and any money coming in later is pure profit for you. You have some hard data to work with.

    Now apple stock - company may be worth n, may have net profits m/year but that doesn't mean anything, there is no physical bond between price and performance. People create it in their minds (company grows, so stocks must be good thus it rises) but it doesn't mean it's there. Stocks rise only because people think they will rise, not because they expect to be paid reliably for owning the stock from company's profits. Owning the stock alone does you absolutely no good, you have to find a sucker to see your money, period - just like you had to find one to sell a house.

    You mentioned delusion and fiction - very accurate. Stock market downturns are so severe lately simply because it's now ruled by faith of the participating players and lots of hot air, not by simple math. Sharks use the math and they screw everybody else over and over.

  • by mmeister (862972) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:18AM (#33894736)

    Ultimately, owning stock means you own a part of the company -- that is what stock is, a share of ownership. So there is some intrinsic value (billions in cash, real estate, other assets) in the stock even if you never sold it.

    But with that argument, ALL STOCK is speculation -- even those that may offer dividends. I've owned stock that promised a dividend, but then lowered it (which also devalued the stock) and ultimately cut the dividend all together.

    Buying stock is a bet you're placing on a company's future success. It is just like investing in a piece of land, or in your own company, or lending money to someone with the expectation of interest boosted return.

    I think one of the problems we have today is that many of these bets are very short term. We don't give much reward to those that invest longer term in a company, no offer disincentives for holding a stock for 1.3 seconds (via our tax code). That's where, IMHO, a lot of speculation comes in. If I buy stock in a company and keep it only for a minute, an hour, a day or a week, I'm not really interested in the company. But that speculation occurs with *everything*: stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities, you name it.

  • Re:Bad news" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:54AM (#33895390)

    Tragedy? Perhaps the things that you believe are so crucial are just not important in the larger scheme of things. Did you ever stop to think that perhaps you are the fringe element and mainstream simply doesn't care that they can't install some random app from some random developer? A quarter of a million apps does a lot to allay fears of a 'restrictive' platform. Linux is totally free and open, yet it too struggles with mainstream acceptance. Did you ever stop to wonder if perhaps being open and free wasn't all that's needed for success? If it's obviously not working there, why would you expect it to a shoe-in for some other platform?

    A Tragedy? Hardly. A tragedy was 9/11. This is just inconvenient to geeks and business as usual for businesses. For iJoe, it's all irrelevant.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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