Apple Inc. (AAPL) on Joel Greenblatt’s ‘Magic Formula’ Screen

Page 1 of 2

GOTHAM ASSET MANAGEMENTApple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are all very large cap tech stocks.  Some have been more interesting than others in recent years (ie Apple compared to Microsoft).

However, all do well when screened against the concept of Joel Greenblatt’s Magic Formula.  The idea of Magic Formula Investing is to buy stocks that are relatively cheap with high earning yields (EBIT/Enterprise Value) and returns on capital (EBIT/(net fixed assets + working capital).

Earnings Multiples and Return Metrics Indicate Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is Most Attractive

In the following chart, a look at each stock’s earnings for FY13 and FY14 shows high single digit (Oracle) to mid-teens earnings (Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)) growth for these stocks.  While Apple has the highest ROA, ROE and earnings growth, it trades at a discounted multiple of 10.3x and 9x FY13 and FY14 consensus earnings, respectively, relatively in line with Microsoft but below Oracle.  This could indicate it’s a relative value.  On the other hand it may have lower quality earnings, belief that consensus will be revised downward and/or earnings growth for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL will retreat following FY14.

Magic Formula Points to Apple

The evidence also points to Apple as the best value based on Greenblatt’s Magic Formula.  Both Apple and Microsoft have a similar TTM earning yield, 14.1% and 14.4%, respectively.  That said, Apple has by far the largest return on capital, largely due to their negative working capital.  Apple is the only manufacturer of hardware, but they heavily outsource this.  Due to their size and position in the market, their payable terms with suppliers are very attractive and account for their negative working capital position.  Also, similar to the P/E multiples, Oracle trades at a premium to Apple and Microsoft.

Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL)

The case to own Oracle includes a few keys.  First, management has focused on shifting hardware sales to its higher margin products.  Margin improvement and a shift to growth in hardware in FY13 would be positive for the stock.

In their database and applications business, Oracle can gain share from International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and SAP AG (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) driving additional growth in this business.  Oracle is also positioned to benefit from increasing use of the Cloud with over 100 enterprise applications and its use of a subscription-based pricing.

All of this can drive further improvements in margins and earnings growth.  While its valuation indicates it is more expensive than Microsoft and Apple, it is still attractive for a hardware and software firm with an outlook for steady earnings growth.  Oracle has fewer concerns with future earnings than Microsoft or Apple, also contributing to its premium valuation.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

While the PC market is soft, demand for Microsoft’s enterprise products remains stable.  Microsoft has lacked significant exposure to faster growing markets, like tablets and smartphones, but it is trying to change this.  While initial Surface (tablet) and Windows 8 tablet sales are below expectations, it is still early and Microsoft can steadily gain penetration into this market.

Also, the Windows phone will likely contend with the Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) BlackBerry 10 for third place in smartphone market.  Interest is increasing for their Cloud products as well.  If Microsoft can gain traction into one of these higher growth markets, upward earnings revisions by the Street are likely to drive the shares higher.

Page 1 of 2
Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

Most Expensive Animals in the World

Most Expensive Specialty Crops in the World

Movies That Took Ages to Make

The Longest Hollywood Films Ever Made

Most Expensive Concert Stages

The Richest Bands of all Time

10 Most Corrupt Countries 2013 List

10 Countries with the Highest Quality of Life Index

Most Expensive Mattresses in the World

5 Smallest Countries by Land Area

The Ultimate Heartbreak Songs

Richest Teenagers in the World

10 Most Haunted Places in America

10 Best Places to Retire in Florida East Coast

Top 10 Places to See Before You Die

Top 8 Countries in the World Where Justice Prevails

10 Richest States in America

15 Wealthiest Countries in the World

Richest Singers in the World

Most Expensive Tasting Menu in New York City

Most Expensive Baby Items in the World

Most Expensive Hotel Suites in Vegas

Most Expensive Brunch in New York City

Most Expensive Beef Cuts in the World

25 Best Colleges to Get a Job

Top 10 US Supermarkets

The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in the World to Visit

Most Expensive Xbox Games

Top 11 Cities Where Billionaires Live

Top 10 Most Charitable Companies in America

Most Expensive Seafood in the World

The 10 Wildest Conspiracy Theories

The 10 Best Job Markets in the US

Top 10 Accounting Scandals of All Time

The 25 Biggest Cities in the World

Top 10 Best Paying Virtual Jobs

Most Expensive Leather Shoes in the World

Top 6 Things to Buy in March

The 10 Most Stressful Jobs in America – 2014 List

Top 10 Jobs for Introverted People

Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations in the World

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in the World

Most Expensive Day-Care in New York City

The 10 Cheapest Places to Retire Abroad

Top 10 Most Expensive Luxury Cars in the World – 2014

Killer Small Business Ideas

The 50 Best Personal Finance Blogs

Most Expensive Apartments in New York City

Bloodiest UFC Fights Ever Fought

Most Expensive Rum Brands in the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!