Lately we have seen a lot of speculation as to “what is wrong” with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)
. Obviously something is wrong with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL
)’s stock considering it has fallen from over $700 down to around $460. The issue with the stock is the type of investor who would want to own shares at this point. Apple is transforming from one of the most loved growth stocks to a loathed value stock, and therein lies the opportunity for long-term investors.
One thing people often forget to mention is that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL
) yields 2.4% while only trading at 9.1x forward earnings. At 8.7x forward earnings you can buy Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)
, who can barely get their toe wet in the mobile phone market, is seeing PC sales plummet due to tablets, and has to deal with a little company called Google who is giving away a cloud version of Microsoft Office. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)
, who is currently the only real competitor in terms of a mobile OS, trades at 14.4x forward earnings with no dividend. For 9.1x forward earnings you are buying Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL
), which is one of the greatest retailers in the world, with $6,050 in sales per square foot. The closest retailer is Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF)
at $3,017 per square foot.
Challenges on the horizon
Apple is not without challenges. Unlike the United States, much of the rest of the world’s telecommunications companies do not subsidize their phones. That means that the iPhone 5 starts at $649 not $199. This also means that many consumers are going to either choose cheaper Android phones or earlier iterations of the iPhone, which will hurt margins. Considering this, as well as the competition from companies like Samsung with their Galaxy S III in the high-end smartphone market, the 5 year projected growth rate of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) at just under 19% may be too high. The recent pullback in stock price has already more than compensated for a deceleration in the growth rate. If Apple’s projected 19% growth rate gets cut in half, Apple’s PEG ratio would still only be about 1.1. Google trades with a PEG of 1.26 and Microsoft trades with a PEG of 1.17.
It’s not like Apple is the next BlackBerry. Apple has almost $40 billion in cash and continues to generate lots of cash quarter after quarter. On top of that, Apple’s production of the iPad, iMac, and iPhone cannot keep up with demand according to Tim Cook on Apple’s most recent conference call: