Apple’s performance in the past few years has been truly mind-boggling.
CEO Tim Cook used that exact phrase in the company’s conference call yesterday. And he wasn’t just blowing smoke.
If you get too caught up in the daily Apple details, you miss the big picture.
So here’s a quick look at the big picture.
Apple has generated $29 billion of cash in the last six months. That's not revenue, it's cash--what's left over after Apple pays all its expenses.
Apple now has $110 billion of cash. If Apple's bank account were a stand-alone company, it would be the 37th biggest company in the United States (by market cap).
Apple's iPhone business did not exist 5 years ago. Now it's a $100 billion business. There are only 53 companies in the world that are bigger than the iPhone business.
Seriously... here's how we get there. Apple's overall profit margin is 30%. We estimate that the iPhone's profit margin is slightly higher, say 35%. The iPhone is currently generating annualized revenue of nearly $100 billion. The iPhone's annualized profit, therefore, may be as much as $35 billion a year. That's bigger than the $30 billion of profit ExxonMobil generated last year.
And the iPhone is not the only product that Apple has invented out of thin air in the last 5 years. There's also the iPad. Together, these two products are generating $130 billion of revenue per year. That's twice the size of Microsoft, a 37-year old company.
Two years ago, Apple's business in China was only 2% of Apple's overall revenue. Now it's 20%. It's nearly a $30 billion business on its own. Apple's Asia region, meanwhile, is growing at 114% per year.
Last year, the number of smartphones and tablets sold blew past the number of PCs sold. Apple owns a lot of the smartphone market and almost all of the tablet market.
iTunes is now almost a $10 billion business. That's almost twice the size of one of the world's biggest music companies, Sony Music Entertainment.
If Apple were a country, it would be the 56th biggest country in the world (by GDP). Countries whose GDP is smaller than Apple's revenue include: Hungary, Vietnam, and Iraq. Apple is more than twice the size of Luxembourg.
Apple's retail stores are now a ~$20 billion business (not including iTunes). This is bigger than J.C. Penney. It's bigger than Kohl's. It's bigger than Wendy's, True Value, Dollar General, Shoprite, and The Gap. It's bigger than Office Depot and Office Max combined.
Apple's stores have higher sales per square foot than any retailer in the world, including Tiffany. Last year, Apple's stores sold $5,626 of stuff per square foot. Tiffany only sold $2,974.
Apple now has 363 stores, one-third of which are outside the United States. The average store sold $12 million worth of stuff last quarter, up 23% from last year. 85 million people walked into Apple stores last quarter--18,000 per store per week.
In 1997, Apple was weeks from going bankrupt. A competitor, Michael Dell, suggested that the best thing the company could do would be to liquidate and distribute its remaining cash to shareholders. 15 years later, Apple is now the most valuable company in the world.
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