If only Greece owned Apple

Apple Greece bailoutA HT to colleague David Parr for this piece from The Sydney Morning Herald. Apple are currently worth $US194 billion in cash and securities which equates to €178 billion. This means that Apple have enough to cover the €86 billion Greek bailout deal struck earlier in the week twice over — with a cool €6 billion still left over to maybe buy an island or a port. If Apple were a country, it’d be the 55th richest country in the world.

According to the World Bank’s most recent data on national wealth, Apple is now worth more than the following countries:

Belarus – worth $467 billion
El Salvadore – worth $364 billion
Guatemala – worth $548 billion
Iceland – worth – $268 billlion
Jamaica – worth $211 billion
Kenya – worth $366 billion
Luxembourg – worth $419 billion
Mongolia – worth $34 billion
Nepal – worth $151 billion
Nicaragua – worth $101 billion
Sri Lanka – worth $424 billion
Tunisia – worth $475 billion

Apple bigger than Russian Stockmarket

A hat tip to colleague David Parr for this interesting item. With Russia being in the news over the Ukraine situation and President Putin coming under a lot of pressure at the G20 Conference in Brisbane (in fact he left early), the Russian stock market – number 20 in the world – was surpassed in value by the iPhone maker last week. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Barton Apple could use the change to buy every Russian a 16GB iPhone Plus.

The value of Russian equities = $531 billion
The value of Apple = $667.2 billion

Singapore and Italy are now worth less than Apple as well. And with Christmas approaching who will be next?

Apple v Russia

How manufacturing the iPhone Impacts on the World

Here is a great infographic about the iPhone that I got from colleague David Parr. It shows the impact the iPhone has had on the global supply chain, jobs and the world in general. Some statistics from it are as follows:

1. To assemble 1 iPhone = 600 workers
2. 500,000 iPhones produced in 1 day (at peak)
3. 307,250 jobs have been created by Apple
4. 44% are sold in North, Central and South America. 9% are sold in Japan alone.
5. There are 330 manufacturing locations in China.

iPhone Manu

What if iPhone were its own company?

Thanks to David Parr for this piece from Bloomberg Business News. Apple has been criticised that its glory days are no longer but the iPhone 5s and 5c sold a record 9 million units during the first weekend after its launch. Put this in perspective if this single product were its own company in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, IPhone Inc. would outsell 474 of those companies—ranking between Wells Fargo (WFC) ($90.5 billion) and Marathon Petroleum (MPC) ($84.9 billion). The iPhone’s $88.4 billion in annualized revenue tops 21 of the 30 component companies in the Dow Jones industrial average—it would be the ninth-biggest stock in the Dow 30:

iPhone sales

Chasing the ‘Apple’ Cart

Many thanks to Apple devotee David Parr for this piece from techcrunch.com. Here are some stats which are truly remarkable:

– Apple ranks at 18 for the largest corporate annual earnings of all time – the vast majority of firms above them being oil and gas. Apple’s profits place them on this exclusive list of the most profitable quarters among corporations. You’ll note that Apple is the only company on the list that’s not an oil and gas company. And they’re a “mere” $3.2 billion from the top spot.

– Apple’s profits for the last quarter exceed Google’s entire revenue for the last quarter – and it’s not even close ($13 billion to $10.6 billion).

– Apple’s revenues, while massive, are nothing compared to a company like Walmart, which reported $109.5 billion in revenue last quarter. BUT that $109.5 billion only turned into $3.3 billion of actual income for the quarter. In other words, Walmart has more than double the revenues of Apple, but Apple has more than four times the profits of Walmart. That’s remarkable.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Goldman Vs. Apple

John Cassidy from the New Yorker writes some very thought provoking articles and in the edition before xmas he asked the question – “What good is Wall Street?” He stated that much of what investment bankers do is socially worthless and for years, the most profitable industry in America has been one that doesn’t design, build, or sell a single tangible thing.

On his blog he compared Apple Computer Company and Goldman Sachs Investment Bank.

On the face of it, the two firms’ profit margins seem pretty similar. For every dollar of revenue it generates, Goldman makes a profit of about twenty-one cents; Apple makes about twenty-three cents. But that is where the comparisons end. From an economic perspective, the real measure of a business is the return it generates on the capital it employs, which could be used in alternative projects. By this metric, Apple leaves Goldman far behind.

The main reason why Apple is so much more profitable than Goldman is a reassuring one. It makes tangible things—iMacs, iPhones, iPads—that millions of people want to buy, and for which they are willing to pay a premium price. (I am writing this post on an iMac.) Despite operating in a highly competitive industry, Steve Jobs’s firm has successfully differentiated its product line to such an extent that it now has considerable monopoly power: it can charge considerably more for its gizmos that they cost to manufacture.

Goldman, for all its reputation and smarts, has no such franchise. It does some things that its clients value and are willing to pay for—making markets, raising capital, providing investment advice, hedging risky positions—but rival banks, such as JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, provide practically the same suite of services, and pricing power is limited. (Not limited enough in some areas, such as I.P.O.s.) The only way Goldman (or any other investment bank) can increase its profit margins in a big way is to leverage up its balance sheet and live by its wits in the financial markets. But when banks all try this together, the consequences are usually disastrous.