Apple’s stock has fallen by a third since September 2012, wiping out $238 billion in market cap. Some context for that mind-blowing figure. The total stock value of Walmart, the biggest company in the United States by number of workers, is $242 billion. So, in five months, Apple has shed a Walmart.
James Surowiecki’s New Yorker column asks why. In tech world dominated by phones and tablets, Apple makes the world’s two best-selling phones. It’s the global leader in tablets, by far. And it’s gobsmackingly profitable. According to one 2012 study, Apple took 69 per cent of the world’s mobile-phone profit. “That doesn’t sound like a company whose stock deserves to trade at a price-to-earnings ratio well below the market average,” Surowiecki writes.