As each day passes by, the company and the stock of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) get more and more separated from each other. Over the last few months, Apple’s stock price hasn’t reflected the performance of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a company, which is one of the most successful companies in the world. As of now, Apple is treated as if it will post no growth for a long, long time. In fact, Apple’s valuation implies that investors see shrinkage in the company’s future.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s value would have been much higher if the company was held to the same standards as other companies are. It looks like investors hold Apple up to incredibly high standards, which the company is having trouble meeting. Even as the S&P 500 (SPY) and the Dow Jones indexes are nearing or passing their all-time highs, Apple keeps getting cheaper and cheaper.
What if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded like these companies I’m listing below from a large variety of industries?
|Company||Price||Trailing P/E Excluding Cash||Forward P/E Excluding Cash|
We can add many more companies in the above table, but this is sufficient to make the point. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is greatly undervalued compared to most large companies across industries. If Apple were to trade like Microsoft, it would be worth $713. If Apple were to trade like International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), it would be worth $760.93. If Apple traded like Oracle, it would be worth $625.82 or if it was trading like Qualcomm, it would be worth $975.70.
If Apple traded like Google, it would be worth $1,053.46, and if it traded like Amazon, it would be worth $11,003.85. No matter how you cut it, Apple is grossly undervalued.
Take Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) for example. Given its current valuation, investors are betting that Amazon’s profits will double every year for the next 7-8 years. Obviously, this would be a miracle for a company Amazon’s size. In order to accomplish this, Amazon would have to either increase its margins drastically every year, or it would have to generate massive revenue.
The company enjoys a relatively high market share in the U.S., but it may have to gain similar market share in many countries before it justifies its current value. As nearly 90% of Americans do at least some of their shopping online, the U.S. market is reaching a saturation for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and the company will have to move to markets like Asia and Eastern Europe for more growth.
The company has razor thin margins, which means that if the revenue falls a little, there is a risk of reporting a loss. No one really seems to know what Amazon’s plan is in order to return better value to investors. The company is expected to grow its revenue by about 20% every year for the next five years, which doesn’t justify its sky high valuation.
I would definitely not say that companies like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) or International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) are expensive. These are solid companies with proven business models, and they are definitely great investments.
On the other hand, Apple is still cheaper than every one of these companies by a considerable margin. In the last 10 years, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) hasn’t done much for investors in terms of providing returns. I’ve been holding the company, collecting dividends, and writing covered calls for the last several years, but the returns are not that great considering that the stock price has been flat for a while.