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GuruFocus Financial Strength Rank measures how strong a company’s financial situation is. It is based on these factors

1. The debt burden that the company has as measured by its Interest coverage (current year).
2. Debt to revenue ratio. The lower, the better
3. Altman Z-score.

A company ranks high with financial strength is likely to withstand any business slowdowns and recessions.

Financial Strength : 7/10

vs
industry
vs
history
Cash to Debt 2.40
AAPL's Cash to Debt is ranked higher than
55% of the 2491 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 3.96 vs. AAPL: 2.40 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Cash to Debt Range
Min: 0.9   Max: No Debt
Current: 2.4

Equity to Asset 0.58
AAPL's Equity to Asset is ranked higher than
59% of the 2481 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 0.58 vs. AAPL: 0.58 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Equity to Asset Range
Min: 0.28   Max: 0.7
Current: 0.58

0.28
0.7
Interest Coverage 360.29
AAPL's Interest Coverage is ranked higher than
65% of the 1525 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 74.64 vs. AAPL: 360.29 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Interest Coverage Range
Min: 4.32   Max: 9999.99
Current: 360.29

4.32
9999.99
F-Score: 4
Z-Score: 5.27
M-Score: -2.72
GuruFocus Profitability Rank ranks how profitable a company is and how likely the company’s business will stay that way. It is based on these factors:

1. Operating Margin
2. Trend of the Operating Margin (5-year average). The company with an uptrend profit margin has a higher rank.
••3. Consistency of the profitability
4. Piotroski F-Score
5. Predictability Rank•

The maximum rank is 10. A rank of 7 or higher means a higher profitability and may stay that way. A rank of 3 or lower indicates that the company has had trouble to make a profit.

Profitability Rank is not directly related to the Financial Strength Rank. But if a company is consistently profitable, its financial strength will be stronger.

Profitability & Growth : 8/10

vs
industry
vs
history
Operating margin (%) 28.67
AAPL's Operating margin (%) is ranked higher than
98% of the 2448 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 3.44 vs. AAPL: 28.67 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Operating margin (%) Range
Min: -12.24   Max: 35.3
Current: 28.67

-12.24
35.3
Net-margin (%) 21.67
AAPL's Net-margin (%) is ranked higher than
97% of the 2449 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 2.74 vs. AAPL: 21.67 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Net-margin (%) Range
Min: -14.76   Max: 26.67
Current: 21.67

-14.76
26.67
ROE (%) 29.98
AAPL's ROE (%) is ranked higher than
99% of the 2412 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 5.23 vs. AAPL: 29.98 )
AAPL' s 10-Year ROE (%) Range
Min: -87.08   Max: 35.3
Current: 29.98

-87.08
35.3
ROA (%) 17.89
AAPL's ROA (%) is ranked higher than
98% of the 2450 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 2.74 vs. AAPL: 17.89 )
AAPL' s 10-Year ROA (%) Range
Min: -24.69   Max: 23.7
Current: 17.89

-24.69
23.7
ROC (Joel Greenblatt) (%) 295.23
AAPL's ROC (Joel Greenblatt) (%) is ranked higher than
99% of the 2444 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 10.26 vs. AAPL: 295.23 )
AAPL' s 10-Year ROC (Joel Greenblatt) (%) Range
Min: -69.04   Max: 434.49
Current: 295.23

-69.04
434.49
Revenue Growth (%) 37.50
AAPL's Revenue Growth (%) is ranked higher than
97% of the 1672 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 3.30 vs. AAPL: 37.50 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Revenue Growth (%) Range
Min: -26.7   Max: 51.8
Current: 37.5

-26.7
51.8
EBITDA Growth (%) 42.90
AAPL's EBITDA Growth (%) is ranked higher than
94% of the 1284 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 5.20 vs. AAPL: 42.90 )
AAPL' s 10-Year EBITDA Growth (%) Range
Min: -48.9   Max: 123.8
Current: 42.9

-48.9
123.8
EPS Growth (%) 37.90
AAPL's EPS Growth (%) is ranked higher than
88% of the 1131 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 6.00 vs. AAPL: 37.90 )
AAPL' s 10-Year EPS Growth (%) Range
Min: -56.5   Max: 193.3
Current: 37.9

-56.5
193.3
» AAPL's 10-Y Financials

Financials


Revenue & Net Income
Cash & Debt
Oprt. Cash Flow & Free Cash Flow

» Details

Guru Trades

Q2 2013

AAPL Guru Trades in Q2 2013

Jim Simons 714,487 sh (New)
Andreas Halvorsen 112,200 sh (New)
Meridian Funds 1,200 sh (New)
Leon Cooperman 31,000 sh (New)
Manning & Napier Advisors, Inc 76,782 sh (+218.32%)
George Soros 66,800 sh (+149.25%)
Mark Hillman 5,389 sh (+102.37%)
Zeke Ashton 17,000 sh (+74.36%)
Brian Rogers 550,000 sh (+69.23%)
Diamond Hill Capital 303,281 sh (+52.68%)
Jim Chanos 42,345 sh (+45.52%)
PRIMECAP Management 141,800 sh (+44.99%)
Whitney Tilson 11,000 sh (+35.45%)
Wallace Weitz 800 sh (+33.33%)
Joel Greenblatt 39,707 sh (+25.84%)
David Rolfe 793,439 sh (+24.36%)
Bill Frels 1,442 sh (+20.07%)
Robert Olstein 19,000 sh (+18.75%)
Bill Nygren 421,000 sh (+16.62%)
Jean-Marie Eveillard 948 sh (+15.19%)
Lee Ainslie 784,412 sh (+13.7%)
Pioneer Investments 1,163,176 sh (+10.93%)
Mario Gabelli 17,140 sh (+6.99%)
John Buckingham 13,404 sh (+6.75%)
Chuck Akre 91,104 sh (+4.59%)
Ron Baron 11,908 sh (+2.82%)
Ken Fisher 1,532,339 sh (+2.1%)
Richard Perry 25,000 sh (unchged)
Kyle Bass 400 sh (unchged)
Ruane Cunniff 1,650 sh (unchged)
David Einhorn 2,397,706 sh (unchged)
Whitney Tilson 3,200 sh (unchged)
Jeff Auxier 1,075 sh (unchged)
Tom Russo Sold Out
Stanley Druckenmiller Sold Out
Chris Davis Sold Out
T Boone Pickens Sold Out
Richard Perry Sold Out
Caxton Associates Sold Out
Frank Sands Sold Out
Chase Coleman Sold Out
Murray Stahl Sold Out
Ronald Muhlenkamp 18,379 sh (-0.12%)
Chuck Royce 16,200 sh (-1.82%)
Dodge & Cox 2,018 sh (-9.02%)
David Dreman 5,298 sh (-10.05%)
Ray Dalio 9,971 sh (-16.71%)
Jeremy Grantham 1,257,717 sh (-22.41%)
RS Investment Management 19,106 sh (-28.34%)
David Tepper 383,004 sh (-29.07%)
Larry Robbins 301,936 sh (-41.36%)
Richard Snow 4,011 sh (-57.83%)
Steven Cohen 65,154 sh (-70.62%)
Louis Moore Bacon 1,453 sh (-95.76%)
» More
Q3 2013

AAPL Guru Trades in Q3 2013

Chris Davis 470 sh (New)
Carl Icahn 3,875,063 sh (New)
Paul Tudor Jones 128,533 sh (New)
Manning & Napier Advisors, Inc 1,005,999 sh (+1210.2%)
Louis Moore Bacon 16,049 sh (+1004.54%)
Richard Snow 17,221 sh (+329.34%)
Ray Dalio 24,271 sh (+143.42%)
RS Investment Management 32,495 sh (+70.08%)
Mario Gabelli 21,142 sh (+23.35%)
Brian Rogers 650,000 sh (+18.18%)
Larry Robbins 335,990 sh (+11.28%)
Bill Frels 1,583 sh (+9.78%)
Ruane Cunniff 1,785 sh (+8.18%)
Pioneer Investments 1,244,053 sh (+6.95%)
David Rolfe 837,328 sh (+5.53%)
Joel Greenblatt 41,754 sh (+5.16%)
John Buckingham 13,738 sh (+2.49%)
Signature Select Canadian Fund 13,500 sh (+1.5%)
Ron Baron 11,983 sh (+0.63%)
Ken Fisher 1,540,133 sh (+0.51%)
Diamond Hill Capital 303,826 sh (+0.18%)
PRIMECAP Management 141,850 sh (+0.04%)
Dodge & Cox 2,018 sh (unchged)
Jean-Marie Eveillard 948 sh (unchged)
Wallace Weitz 800 sh (unchged)
David Einhorn 2,397,706 sh (unchged)
Jeff Auxier 1,075 sh (unchged)
Whitney Tilson Sold Out
Jim Simons Sold Out
Leon Cooperman Sold Out
Andreas Halvorsen Sold Out
Chuck Akre 91,004 sh (-0.11%)
David Dreman 5,243 sh (-1.04%)
Zeke Ashton 16,750 sh (-1.47%)
George Soros 65,400 sh (-2.1%)
Mark Hillman 5,147 sh (-4.49%)
Chuck Royce 15,400 sh (-4.94%)
Bill Nygren 381,000 sh (-9.5%)
Robert Olstein 17,000 sh (-10.53%)
Jeremy Grantham 986,739 sh (-21.55%)
Jim Chanos 31,785 sh (-24.94%)
Ronald Muhlenkamp 13,495 sh (-26.57%)
David Tepper 244,120 sh (-36.26%)
Steven Cohen 34,826 sh (-46.55%)
Lee Ainslie 371,822 sh (-52.6%)
» More
Q4 2013

AAPL Guru Trades in Q4 2013

Julian Robertson 2,300 sh (New)
Caxton Associates 2,647 sh (New)
John Griffin 320,000 sh (New)
Daniel Loeb 100,000 sh (New)
Louis Moore Bacon 118,192 sh (+636.44%)
George Soros 290,551 sh (+344.27%)
Ray Dalio 41,371 sh (+70.45%)
Jeremy Grantham 1,209,959 sh (+22.62%)
Carl Icahn 4,730,739 sh (+22.08%)
Bill Frels 1,783 sh (+12.63%)
Jean-Marie Eveillard 1,048 sh (+10.55%)
Ronald Muhlenkamp 14,153 sh (+4.88%)
David Rolfe 876,762 sh (+4.71%)
PRIMECAP Management 146,850 sh (+3.52%)
RS Investment Management 33,395 sh (+2.77%)
Chris Davis 477 sh (+1.49%)
Mario Gabelli 21,256 sh (+0.54%)
John Buckingham 13,806 sh (+0.49%)
Chuck Akre 91,029 sh (+0.03%)
Richard Snow 17,221 sh (unchged)
Dodge & Cox 2,018 sh (unchged)
Brian Rogers 650,000 sh (unchged)
Ruane Cunniff 1,785 sh (unchged)
Steven Cohen 30,000 sh (unchged)
Bill Nygren 381,000 sh (unchged)
David Einhorn 2,397,706 sh (unchged)
Jeff Auxier 1,075 sh (unchged)
Wallace Weitz 800 sh (unchged)
Zeke Ashton Sold Out
Larry Robbins Sold Out
Lee Ainslie Sold Out
Mark Hillman 5,140 sh (-0.14%)
Diamond Hill Capital 300,636 sh (-1.05%)
Chuck Royce 15,200 sh (-1.3%)
Pioneer Investments 1,220,169 sh (-1.92%)
Ron Baron 11,598 sh (-3.21%)
Robert Olstein 15,000 sh (-11.76%)
David Tepper 215,320 sh (-11.8%)
Joel Greenblatt 36,500 sh (-12.58%)
Jim Chanos 27,145 sh (-14.6%)
Ken Fisher 1,289,647 sh (-16.26%)
Manning & Napier Advisors, Inc 771,579 sh (-23.3%)
David Dreman 3,289 sh (-37.27%)
Steven Cohen 17,964 sh (-48.42%)
Paul Tudor Jones 10,300 sh (-91.99%)
» More
Q1 2014

AAPL Guru Trades in Q1 2014

Ken Fisher 1,449,969 sh (+12.43%)
Manning & Napier Advisors, Inc 777,693 sh (+0.79%)
Brian Rogers 650,000 sh (unchged)
» More
» Details

Insider Trades

Latest Guru Trades with AAPL

GuruDate Trades Impact to Portfolio Price Range * (?) Current Price Change from Average Current Shares
Lee Ainslie 2013-12-31 Sold Out 2.4%$480.94 - $570.09 $ 531.70%0
John Griffin 2013-12-31 New Buy1.8%$480.94 - $570.09 $ 531.70%320000
Carl Icahn 2013-12-31 Add 22.08%1.57%$480.94 - $570.09 $ 531.70%4730739
George Soros 2013-12-31 Add 344.27%1.08%$480.94 - $570.09 $ 531.70%290551
Daniel Loeb 2013-12-31 New Buy0.97%$480.94 - $570.09 $ 531.70%100000
Julian Robertson 2013-12-31 New Buy0.4%$480.94 - $570.09 $ 531.70%2300
David Dreman 2013-12-31 Reduce -37.27%0.09%$480.94 - $570.09 $ 531.70%3289
Ray Dalio 2013-12-31 Add 70.45%0.08%$480.94 - $570.09 $ 531.70%41371
Carl Icahn 2013-09-30 New Buy7.5%$415.05 - $507.74 $ 531.714%3875063
Lee Ainslie 2013-09-30 Reduce -52.6%2.21%$415.05 - $507.74 $ 531.714%371822
Ronald Muhlenkamp 2013-09-30 Reduce -26.57%0.4%$415.05 - $507.74 $ 531.714%13495
Leon Cooperman 2013-09-30 Sold Out 0.19%$415.05 - $507.74 $ 531.714%0
Ray Dalio 2013-09-30 Add 143.42%0.06%$415.05 - $507.74 $ 531.714%24271
Mario Gabelli 2013-09-30 Add 23.35%0.01%$415.05 - $507.74 $ 531.714%21142
Frank Sands 2013-06-30 Sold Out 1.8%$390.53 - $463.84 $ 531.723%0
Richard Perry 2013-06-30 Sold Out 0.91%$390.53 - $463.84 $ 531.723%0
Lee Ainslie 2013-06-30 Add 13.7%0.51%$390.53 - $463.84 $ 531.723%784412
Leon Cooperman 2013-06-30 New Buy0.19%$390.53 - $463.84 $ 531.723%31000
George Soros 2013-06-30 Add 149.25%0.17%$390.53 - $463.84 $ 531.723%66800
Joel Greenblatt 2013-06-30 Add 25.84%0.14%$390.53 - $463.84 $ 531.723%39707
Meridian Funds 2013-06-30 New Buy0.02%$390.53 - $463.84 $ 531.723%1200
PRIMECAP Management 2013-06-30 Add 44.99%0.02%$390.53 - $463.84 $ 531.723%141800
Wallace Weitz 2013-06-30 Add 33.33%$390.53 - $463.84 $ 531.723%800
Frank Sands 2013-03-31 Reduce -67.88%5.23%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%1158474
John Griffin 2013-03-31 Sold Out 3.9%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%0
Julian Robertson 2013-03-31 Sold Out 3.9%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%0
Chuck Akre 2013-03-31 Add 148.12%1.31%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%87106
George Soros 2013-03-31 Reduce -85.43%1.03%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%26800
Richard Perry 2013-03-31 New Buy0.91%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%65000
Lee Ainslie 2013-03-31 Add 26.74%0.84%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%689913
Ronald Muhlenkamp 2013-03-31 Add 92.89%0.82%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%18402
John Keeley 2013-03-31 Sold Out 0.15%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%0
Joel Greenblatt 2013-03-31 Add 17.51%0.11%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%31554
Ron Baron 2013-03-31 Reduce -68.53%0.08%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%11581
David Dreman 2013-03-31 New Buy0.07%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%5890
Ray Dalio 2013-03-31 New Buy0.05%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%11971
Wallace Weitz 2013-03-31 Add 50%$420.05 - $549.03 $ 531.714%600
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Guru Investment Theses on Apple Inc

Diamond Hill Capital Comments on Apple Inc. - Mar 07, 2014

Mobile communication and media device company Apple, Inc. (AAPL) reported revenue and earnings that were higher than consensus expectations, indicating a good start to the sale of the newly launched iPhone 5S. Additionally, Apple also announced that it has reached an agreement with China Mobile - China's largest wireless carrier - to sell iPhones on its latest network in China.

From Diamond Hill Capital (Trades, Portfolio)'s Select Fund Commentary for fourth quarter 2013.

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David Rolfe Comments on Apple Inc. - Jan 27, 2014

Our thesis that innovation is alive and well at Apple – a minority position to be sure over the past year – has been vindicated, in our view, given that the Company refreshed their entire suite of hardware and operating software systems in the second half of 2013.  Apple (AAPL) continued to expand its iPhone franchise, selling close to 34 million units during the September quarter, representing a 25% increase over the year ago period.  Much of this growth can be attributed to the successful roll-out of the iPhone 5S and 5C, Apple’s most recent updates to this key business line.  The Company also continues to upgrade the broad array of services that make up the platform in support of the iPhone (as well as the iPad and Mac), including content (iTunes, App Store, iCloud) and software (iOS).  We think Apple’s platform approach drives a differentiated user experience which leads to a “stickier” customer, which in turn drives customer intentions to repurchase Apple products at significantly higher rates –and profits - than their competitors.  As smartphones proliferate, we expect consumers will become increasingly critical and demanding of their user experience - a trend that we expect Apple will be able to capitalize upon as competitors continue to maintain their focus on selling an experience that is only “good enough” for smartphone newbies.  We expect the Company to generate renewed earnings growth over the course of calendar 2014 approaching $50 per share.  Even after the +45% advance in the stock from past summer, we view the current risk/reward in the shares (and in consideration of the cash build on the balance sheet) quite favorable.

 

From David Rolfe (Trades, Portfolio)’s Wedgewood Partners Fourth Quarter 2013 Commentary.

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Baron Funds Comments on Apple - Nov 25, 2013

Apple (AAPL) finally makes an appearance on the right side of the ledger, as the shares rose 21% during the quarter. The iPhone 5S debuted to generally enthusiastic reviews and early indications suggest a robust upgrade cycle. Our investment thesis continues to be that Apple has created a platform and an eco-system that will be leveraged to distribute additional products and services and allow the company to maintain a premium brand (and premium pricing and margins) over time.

From Ron Baron's Baron Funds third quarter 2013 commentary.


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David Einhorn Comments on Apple - Oct 16, 2013

Apple (AAPL) shares advanced from $397 to $477 as earnings estimates stopped falling and the market turned its attention to AAPL’s new products. The newly introduced iPhone 5s gives customers a compelling reason to upgrade. It looks like it will be a hit, and we believe that AAPL will find novel ways to use Touch ID and iBeacon to monetize its user base and ecosystem via new service offerings and apps. AAPL’s current non-hardware e-commerce business (sales from iTunes, AppStore and iBook Store, plus software and services) is $16 billion a year and growing. Not only is it growing faster than Amazon, AAPL makes more money in non-hardware e-commerce alone than Amazon makes in its entire business. That gap will likely widen in AAPL’s favor as AAPL rolls out new offerings and services. We believe that near-term share performance will track the success of the new phones, while the longer-term share price will reflect the market’s eventual understanding of AAPL’s strong ability to earn high-margin and recurring revenue streams.

From David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital third quarter 2013 letter.


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Wedgewood Partners David Rolfe Comments on Apple - Jul 19, 2013

Apple (AAPL)'s stock continued its streak of absolute and relative underperformance during the second quarter. However, in our view, the Company's long term competitive positioning is strong and intact , particularly due to their aggressive, multi billion dollar re investment in its supply chain, which should bear fruit over a multi year period. While much has been said about Samsung since it recently surpassed Apple in terms of units sold, we think "units sold" is a poor proxy for competition, at the very least, until we figure the profits generated by those units. As of the first calendar quarter 2013, we estimate Apple generated $215 in operating profit per iPhone, compared to Samsung, which generated about $90 per smartphone. Clearly, Apple's collective smartphone value proposition is superior to Samsung and considerably more than the rest of their rival peer group which collectively continue to generate losses. However, Apple's profitability per iPhone during all of 2012 averaged about $265 , while Samsung averaged about $80. So at the margin, Apple ceded roughly $50 of profitability per iPhone relative to its 2012 average. This per unit profit decline could suggest that Apple's competitive edge has eroded. However, Samsung only picked up about $10 per unit, and the rest of the competitive field narrowed their losses by about $5 to $10 per unit, which begs, where did the other $30 35 of profit per iPhone go?

Given that Apple's average iPhone prices have not changed in proportion, it is certainly not accruing to Apple's customers. Perhaps some of that value accrued to customers of Apple's competitors? But if that were true, Apple's competitive cohort probably would have exercised some pricing power by now, but they have not done so, considering prices by smartphone segment have been relatively flat.

Now, as we have noted in the past, Apple's capital expenditure budget has risen rapidly over the years, meaning Apple is aggressively reinvesting into its business. Apple's "cost of sales" as a percent of revenues has risen nearly ten percentage points compared to the first calendar quarter of 2012. As a result of this dramatic rise in costs over a relatively short period of time, we suspect that much of the profitability per unit has gone to Apple suppliers. While it is unsettling to see per unit iPhone profitability decline, we believe that Apple will eventually realize returns on these expenditures, particularly by increasingly exercising more scale over its asset and supplier base.

So we realize that Apple's rival peer group is making competitive inroads, but we do not think they are as dramatic, nor as sustainable, as the market seems to be implying and that the majority of Apple's lower profitability represents current investments in future returns. Indeed, considering that the stock ended the quarter at close to just a 4 X Enterprise Value to EBITDA multiple, and although the past few quarters have been difficult for Apple shareholders, we believe patience and a focus on Apple's long term growth of their best in class ecosystem will be rewarded in due course.

From Wedgewood Partners' second quarter 2013 letter.

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David Einhorn Comments on Apple - May 13, 2013

(AAPL) shares fell from $532 to $443 during the quarter. The biggest problems with our AAPL investment are disappointing earnings and a diminished forecast. When AAPL announced its year-end result, it made clear that it would earn less in the March quarter than it did a year ago. Forward estimates have been falling for a while. Last July, consensus estimates for fiscal 2014 were $64 per share; estimates now stand at $44. When we thought the company would earn $64 per share, the shares seemed cheap even as they reached $700 in September. Of course, that required AAPL to meet that forecast.

Our thesis is that AAPL has a terrific operating platform, engendering a loyal, sticky and growing customer base that will make repeated purchases of an expanding AAPL product offering. Unfortunately, there have been a series of disappointments including slower sales growth, lower margins, and increased competition. There have also been delays in new carrier wins, next generation product introductions, and new product category launches. While all of these have had an understandably negative impact on AAPL’s share price, we take a longer view and believe our thesis is intact.

As shareholders, we watched AAPL accumulate a cash stockpile greater than the market capitalization of all but 17 companies in the S&P 500, and recognized that its high cost of capital and shareholder-unfriendly capital allocation were depressing the stock price. AAPL’s management and Board, either unconcerned or unaware of the detrimental effects of AAPL’s all common equity capital structure, seemed uninterested in finding a solution.

As shareholders who believe in AAPL’s core business, we wanted to help AAPL resolve its cash problem in a way that satisfied AAPL, the market, and its shareholders. Based on years of observation and many discussions, we believed that AAPL would not issue debt under any circumstances, and especially not to return cash to shareholders. With this in mind, coupled with our awareness that AAPL was loath to repatriate (and thereby pay taxes on) its overseas cash, last year we suggested iPrefs to Peter Oppenheimer, AAPL's CFO. We had no better luck than any of the many other investors and analysts who for years have pressed Apple to return excess capital to shareholders. Our concerns fell on deaf ears.

In February, CalPERS came out in loud support of a proposal aimed at improving AAPL’s corporate governance that inexplicably bundled several measures into a single voting measure. The proposal, which included an unwarranted provision prohibiting AAPL from issuing preferred stock, was in direct violation of SEC rules, and we filed a lawsuit insisting that AAPL allow the shareholders to vote on each measure separately. We believed this would generate a public dialogue around AAPL’s capital allocation strategy.

When Tim Cook later called the lawsuit a sideshow, it was understandable. Whereas we chose to focus on the very real issue of Apple’s capital structure, others seemed more intent on turning things into a circus. A lawyer known mostly for preserving the autonomy of Boards to act in any manner they wish wrote a piece titled Bite the Apple; Poison the Apple; Paralyze the Company; Wreck the Economy. Given the hysteria implied in the title, one would think we had suggested that AAPL hire Steve Ballmer to run new product development. A retired Fortune 500 CEO said, “I’d give Einhorn the back of my hand,” prompting us to wonder why he wouldn’t give us the front of his hand. Perhaps most startling was the reaction from CalPERS, who vigorously defended the proposal.

The essence of corporate governance is form over substance. The belief is that properly-made decisions will lead to better decisions, so it was odd to watch self-identified corporate governance advocates support a proxy proposal that violated SEC rules. Incongruously, CalPERS believes good corporate governance is unnecessary when approving policies that purport to improve corporate governance.

Others ignored the circus and focused on the balance sheet. We received feedback from many AAPL shareholders, including some of AAPL’s largest institutional investors, thanking us for initiating the public discussion. Even some who disagreed with our idea helped further the public debate. Respected NYU finance professor Aswath Damodaran wrote a critical piece that pushed us to refine our presentation of the iPrefs idea. These thoughtful responses reinforce the value of speaking publicly, despite the more obvious drawbacks.

In the end, the judge sided with us, and AAPL withdrew the proposal from consideration. Once the shareholder meeting passed, there was nothing left for a court to do, so the case became moot and was dropped. Not long after, we met with AAPL management and its investment bankers to further discuss AAPL’s options. We believe that our thoughts were given a fair hearing.

Ultimately, the Board and AAPL decided to abandon their “no debt” philosophy and gave birth to iBonds. As rejections go, AAPL’s bond issuance ($17 billion in bonds were issued at about a 2% average interest cost) was as good as anything shareholders could have hoped for and the market seems to agree. AAPL announced that it will return $100 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015 and will evaluate returning additional capital annually. This vastly more shareholder-friendly capital allocation policy is a dramatic shift from where AAPL stood just a few months ago. We have added to our AAPL position. We now await the release of Apple’s next blockbuster product.

From David Einhorn's first quarter 2013 letter.
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Baron Funds Comments on Apple Inc. - Dec 07, 2012

Lastly, before the end of the quarter, we finally sold Apple, Inc. (AAPL), one of the Fund's most successful investments since inception. This was a tough judgment call that has worked out well, at least on a short-term basis. Our reasons included concerns about the ultimate market cap the market would allow the company to achieve, rising competition from Android devices, the release of the iPhone 5 with a sub-par mapping application and concerns about the ability of the company to hold together its management team in the post-Steve Jobs era (a concern that was validated when the company announced management changes).

From Baron Funds third quarter letter.


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Why Hedge Fund Third Point's Dan Loeb Likes Apple - May 31, 2012

Hedge Fund Third Point bought 362,000 shares of Apple in the first quarter of 2012. This is why Dan Loeb likes Apple (AAPL), according to his latest investment letter.

Long Equity: Apple (AAPL) Following Apple’s December quarter earnings, we re‐established a position in the stock at $445 per share, a level 10% up from the pre‐earnings price. While the market reacted positively to the strong results, we believed it was still not discounting adequately the strong likelihood that Apple would return capital in 2012. The prospect of capital return stood to broaden the investor base enabling the market capitalization to re‐base around an attractive dividend profile, particularly relative to the Company’s growth rate. Beyond the capital return catalyst, we were focused on Apple’s entry into the 4G device space in 2012, led by the latest iPad and the pending iPhone 5.

As we evaluated Apple at $445 per share, some back‐of‐the‐envelope math painted an intriguing picture. Due to its favorable working capital cycle and deferred revenue contribution, Apple has been churning out cash flow at close to 120% of earnings (actually 128% in FY2012). Looking forward to CY2012, that rate suggests cash flow in excess of $50 per share in 2012. Ignoring repatriation tax for a moment, at $445 per share less $104 per share in net cash, we were creating Apple at 6‐7x CY2012 free cash flow. Looking toward year‐end 2012, with over $150 per share in net cash, Apple’s multiple dropped to 5‐6x CY2012 free cash flow. As a result, we believed we were buying in with a healthy margin of safety, a likely cash return catalyst and a favorable product cycle. This strong cash position and cash flow made the prospect of a cash return strategy very likely. Even allowing for a healthy sense of skepticism, Apple’s close to $100 billion of net cash is greater than that of Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Nokia combined. Similarly, Apple’s likely $50 billion of CY2012 free cash flow is again greater than that of Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Nokia (NOK) combined.

Ahead of our expectations on timing, Apple announced its cash return policy in mid‐March, outlining a dividend of $10.60 per year (2.38% dividend yield at our cost basis, and 1.75% at Apple’s current share price of $605), and a $10 billion buyback authorization. We believe Apple’s dividend offers healthy growth potential, adding further support to the share price going forward. Currently, Apple is trading at 13.4x CY2012 EPS of $45, and 11.6x CY2013 EPS of $52 (consensus from Capital IQ). Adjusting for cash, Apple’s valuation drops to 11.1x CY2012 EPS and 9.6x C2013, leaving it inexpensive relative to the S&P 500. Looking ahead, Apple faces significant growth potential in China, expanded iPad distribution and adoption, “Halo Effect 2.0” in the U.S. and increasing ecosystem expansion into the living room. Perhaps underappreciated is what we describe as Halo Effect 2.0, which addresses the Mac opportunity. Apple has significant global market share headroom in the PC space. Within the U.S., Apple’s footprint has expanded significantly over the last decade. Ten years ago, a consumer may have had an iPod, a Windows PC or laptop, a Sony TV, a Nokia phone, and a library of CDs and DVDs. Today, U.S. households increasingly have iPods, iPhones, iPads and an iTunes library. While these households have increasingly adopted Macs, the maturation of the Windows 7 installed base and pending Windows 8 launch will drive decision points into 2013, with many consumers looking to close to the device loop and tie their devices together with a Mac. With consumers deeply invested in their Apple ecosystems and iTunes libraries (now across music, apps, books and video), the living room stands as Apple’s next frontier, potentially leading to an Apple TV in late 2012. In order to sustain its success, Apple will need to drive its ecosystem experience outside of the US, with multiple devices, content libraries and cloud services. China’s enthusiasm for Apple’s products and brand is exciting, but investors will need to see whether Apple can establish the ecosystem the way it has in the U.S. Apple will need to invest in distribution and carrier relationships in China to set the stage for the ecosystem to take root. If Apple can drive multiple device households, iTunes and iCloud adoption, then China will provide a substantial growth opportunity for several years. This is not a certainty, as China has relatively low PC penetration and per capita GDP, but Apple has an excellent opportunity in front of it, and has executed well to date.

Source

Also check out why David Einhorn loves Apple, too.

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David Einhorn on Apple Inc. - May 31, 2012

From David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital first quarter 2012 letter:

During the presentation at our annual Partners’ Dinner, we talked about a number of stocks that have suffered multiple compression, where businesses have performed nicely, but have not seen a corresponding uplift in their share price. Apple (AAPL) is the clearest example of this. In 2011, AAPL’s revenue grew 66% and earnings per share grew 78%. Both of these growth rates greatly exceeded market expectations and even our own expectations, which were considerably more optimistic than consensus. Nonetheless, the stock appreciated by only 25%. As a result of this mismatch, AAPL’s P/E multiple compressed by about one third.Several other names in our portfolio including General Motors (GM), Microsoft (MSFT), Delphi (DLPH) and Arkema (France: AKE) also suffered multiple compression in 2011. This trend reversed in the first quarter, with all of these companies enjoying rising share prices that reflect both current earnings performance and some P/E multiple catch-up from last year.

None of our long portfolio investments have recovered with as much fanfare as AAPL, which surged from $405 to $600 per share in the quarter, bringing its P/E back to where it was at the end of 2010. Yet not everyone agrees that AAPL’s stock price is merely playing catch-up to its fundamentals. Some see the stock surge as a bubble, while others go so far as to mock that AAPL is its own asset class.Here are some of the common concerns we have heard:

1.Too many hedge funds own AAPL.

2. If AAPL’s share price doubles, it will have a $1 trillion market capitalization, and everyone knows there can be no such thing as a $1 trillion company.

3. Motorola, Research in Motion and Nokia were all market leaders that proved unable to hold onto their dominant positions and healthy margins; this too will be AAPL’s fate.

4. AAPL can’t possibly maintain its current hyper-growth trajectory.

Let’s address these one at a time:

1.Too many funds. It’s not clear what the objection is here. We suppose the worry is that there is a herd mentality among hedge funds, and that when one fund sells, there could be a cascade of hedge funds selling shares and the stock price will collapse.Moreover, if everyone already owns AAPL, who is left to buy it? Collectively, hedge funds currently hold less than 5% of AAPL’s outstanding shares, and no hedge fund ranks among the top 40 holders of the stock. The average hedge fund has less than 2% of its equity assets in AAPL versus AAPL’s 4% weighting in the S&P 500, which means hedge funds are actually underweight AAPL.

2. A trillion dollars? We’ve scoured the Nasdaq listing rules, reviewed the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and engaged a leading numerologist. We can’t find any prohibition on trillion dollar market capitalizations.

3. All empires must fall. This concern, while not as arbitrary as the first two, reinforces our belief that the skeptics have a fundamental misunderstanding of AAPL. Their view suggests that AAPL is a hardware company. We disagree.

4. Growing pains. AAPL shares are not priced for growth. Its current valuation is justified without it.

The latter two concerns merit further discussion. Despite its size, AAPL remains one of the most misunderstood stocks in the market. AAPL is a software company. The value comes from iOS, the App store, iTunes and iCloud. A Motorola RAZR phone was a one-time winner because when someone else made a phone that was just a little better, RAZR sales stopped. In contrast, a consumer with one AAPL product tends to want more AAPL products. Once the user has a second device, AAPL has captured the customer. At that point, a future competitor has to make a product that isn’t just a little better, but a lot better to get people to switch. The high switching cost makes AAPL’s business much more defensible than that of its predecessors.

Further, AAPL’s ability to consistently offer innovative features (as opposed to marginal improvements on the current features) encourages users to upgrade every couple of years.This provides a recurring revenue stream. And because AAPL embeds its software into itshardware, it doesn’t face Microsoft’s piracy problem. If the Chinese want AAPL, they haveto buy AAPL. Rather than view AAPL as a hardware company, we see it as a software company that monetizes its value through the repeated sales of high margin hardware.

We continue to hold AAPL. Not only do we think the skeptics are misguided, we believe the shares remain cheap. AAPL trades at a lower multiple than the average company in the S&P500. A below-market multiple implies that this is a below-average company. We have a hard time seeing how anyone ranks AAPL as below average.


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Baron Funds Comments on Apple - May 24, 2012

From Baron Funds' first quarter letter: Shares of Apple, Inc. (AAPL) gained sharply following the January release of its strong fourth-quarter results. Apple's revenue grew 73% to over $46 billion, beating its own guidance by over $9 billion, and its earnings more than doubled year over year. The story of Apple's quarter was the iPhone, which sold 37 million units, more than twice the prior quarter's sales numbers. The iPad was also strong, selling over 15 million units, up over 100% from the prior year. The quarter ended with Apple's release of the 3rd generation iPad, which sold more than three million units over its launch weekend. (Michael Lippert)
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Ratios

vs
industry
vs
history
P/E(ttm) 13.20
AAPL's P/E(ttm) is ranked higher than
78% of the 1774 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 19.40 vs. AAPL: 13.20 )
AAPL' s 10-Year P/E(ttm) Range
Min: 9.32   Max: 123.33
Current: 13.2

9.32
123.33
P/B 3.60
AAPL's P/B is ranked lower than
73% of the 2373 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 1.48 vs. AAPL: 3.60 )
AAPL' s 10-Year P/B Range
Min: 1.49   Max: 11.32
Current: 3.6

1.49
11.32
P/S 2.80
AAPL's P/S is ranked lower than
77% of the 2545 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 0.92 vs. AAPL: 2.80 )
AAPL' s 10-Year P/S Range
Min: 1.04   Max: 6.96
Current: 2.8

1.04
6.96
PFCF 10.90
AAPL's PFCF is ranked higher than
74% of the 1308 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 16.38 vs. AAPL: 10.90 )
AAPL' s 10-Year PFCF Range
Min: 7.88   Max: 65.78
Current: 10.9

7.88
65.78
EV-to-EBIT 9.00
AAPL's EV-to-EBIT is ranked higher than
83% of the 1938 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 15.81 vs. AAPL: 9.00 )
AAPL' s 10-Year EV-to-EBIT Range
Min: 5   Max: 66.2
Current: 9

5
66.2
PEG 0.30
AAPL's PEG is ranked higher than
91% of the 800 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 1.28 vs. AAPL: 0.30 )
AAPL' s 10-Year PEG Range
Min: 0.13   Max: 0.54
Current: 0.3

0.13
0.54
Shiller P/E 19.80
AAPL's Shiller P/E is ranked higher than
71% of the 795 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 25.90 vs. AAPL: 19.80 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Shiller P/E Range
Min: 16.91   Max: 140.31
Current: 19.8

16.91
140.31

Dividend & Buy Back

vs
industry
vs
history
Dividend Yield 2.30
AAPL's Dividend Yield is ranked higher than
64% of the 1578 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 1.77 vs. AAPL: 2.30 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Dividend Yield Range
Min: 0.38   Max: 2.77
Current: 2.3

0.38
2.77
Dividend Payout 0.29
AAPL's Dividend Payout is ranked higher than
61% of the 1225 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 0.31 vs. AAPL: 0.29 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Dividend Payout Range
Min: 0.08   Max: 0.41
Current: 0.29

0.08
0.41
Yield on cost (5-Year) 2.30
AAPL's Yield on cost (5-Year) is ranked higher than
60% of the 1646 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 1.91 vs. AAPL: 2.30 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Yield on cost (5-Year) Range
Min: 0.38   Max: 2.77
Current: 2.3

0.38
2.77
Share Buyback Rate -0.20
AAPL's Share Buyback Rate is ranked higher than
78% of the 1236 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: -1.20 vs. AAPL: -0.20 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Share Buyback Rate Range
Min: -0.1   Max: -12.6
Current: -0.2

Valuation & Return

vs
industry
vs
history
Price/Tangible Book 3.80
AAPL's Price/Tangible Book is ranked lower than
72% of the 2244 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 1.60 vs. AAPL: 3.80 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Price/Tangible Book Range
Min: 1.27   Max: 10.59
Current: 3.8

1.27
10.59
Price/DCF (Projected) 0.90
AAPL's Price/DCF (Projected) is ranked higher than
80% of the 928 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 1.30 vs. AAPL: 0.90 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Price/DCF (Projected) Range
Min: 0.73   Max: 4.26
Current: 0.9

0.73
4.26
Price/Median PS Value 0.80
AAPL's Price/Median PS Value is ranked higher than
87% of the 2322 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 1.10 vs. AAPL: 0.80 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Price/Median PS Value Range
Min: 0.07   Max: 2
Current: 0.8

0.07
2
Price/Peter Lynch Fair Value 0.50
AAPL's Price/Peter Lynch Fair Value is ranked higher than
87% of the 379 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 1.10 vs. AAPL: 0.50 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Price/Peter Lynch Fair Value Range
Min: 0.4   Max: 3.03
Current: 0.5

0.4
3.03
Price/Graham Number 1.50
AAPL's Price/Graham Number is ranked higher than
51% of the 1662 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 1.25 vs. AAPL: 1.50 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Price/Graham Number Range
Min: 0.63   Max: 4.48
Current: 1.5

0.63
4.48
Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) 11.10
AAPL's Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) is ranked higher than
83% of the 2084 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 6.10 vs. AAPL: 11.10 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) Range
Min: 1.5   Max: 19.8
Current: 11.1

1.5
19.8
Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) 54.52
AAPL's Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) is ranked higher than
97% of the 1330 Companies
in the Global Computer Systems industry.

( Industry Median: 3.24 vs. AAPL: 54.52 )
AAPL' s 10-Year Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) Range
Min: 0.7   Max: 120.9
Current: 54.52

0.7
120.9

Business Description

Industry: Computer Hardware » Computer Systems
Compare:HPQ, DELL, LNVGY, NIPNF, SSYS » details
Traded in other countries:APC.Germany
Apple Inc is a California corporation established in 1977. The Company designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication devices, and portable digital music and video players and sell a variety of related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions. It sells its products through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, and third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers. The Company's products and services include iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and a variety of accessory, service and support offerings. It also sells and delivers digital content and applications through the iTunes Store, App StoreSM, iBookstoreSM, and Mac App Store. In addition, the Company sells a variety of third-party iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod compatible products, including application software, and various accessories, through its online and retail stores. The Company sells to consumer, small and mid-sized business (SMB), education, enterprise, government and creative customers. Its reportable operating segments consist of the Americas, Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific and Retail. The Americas segment includes both North and South America. The Europe segment includes European countries, as well as the Middle East and Africa. The Asia-Pacific segment includes Australia and Asian countries, other than Japan. The Retail segment operates Apple retail stores in 13 countries, including the U.S. Each operating segment provides similar hardware and software products and similar services. It offers its own software products, including iOS, the Company's mobile operating system; OS X, the Company's Mac operating system; and server and application software. The Company currently holds rights to patents and copyrights relating to certain aspects of its computer systems, iPhone and iPod devices, peripherals, software and services. The Company is subject to federal, state and international laws relating to the collection, use, retention, security and transfer of PII.

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User Comments

Tdimo
ReplyTdimo - 4 months ago
Soros bought AAPL Aug 2013 at $460. He belives that price will go up.
Tdimo
ReplyTdimo - 4 months ago
Priyenka1,
Priyenka1
ReplyPriyenka1 - 4 months ago
Should I still buy Apple and Microsoft at current price.Need a good advice.
Tanjensung
ReplyTanjensung - 5 months ago
Dear gurufocus support, there seems to be an issue with the interactive chart data. The ROC metric simply reflects price, while there are a series of empty spaces in the valuation and quality section.
Mashooriyan@google
ReplyMashooriyan@google - 6 months ago
749

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