This past week was a monumental time for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and its shareholders. Despite chatter that the highly anticipated iPhone 6 could face delays, Apple shares hit a new, adjusted all-time high. When we published What Apple at $100 Again Means last week, we signaled that the split-adjusted price would have to hit $100.72 to beat the old $705 price from September of 2012. With a close of $101.32 and a whopping $606.7 billion market cap, what we did not tell you about this price was the market valuation now puts Apple at worth more than General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) combined — with an extra $100 billion in market cap to boot!
24/7 Wall St. occasionally looks at these angles of the market. The first thing to consider is that the stock market values many companies very differently, often for myriad reasons. GE has a market cap of $262.4 billion and Walmart has a market value of $244.1 billion, bringing the combined values to $506.5 billion. Apple’s market cap of $606.7 billion is a whopping $100.2 billion higher than GE and Walmart combined.
24/7 Wall St. wanted to offer some basic comparisons of all three companies to highlight just what this all looks like on a relative basis. If you are thinking that this is a short sell recommendation or an endorsement of any other sort for any of the these companies, please stop reading, because that is not the point. Again, a market capitalization can be higher or lower for a variety of reasons.
Apple is the premiere company in the world by market cap. We took several summaries for a comparison, but we have also shown all of these in detail on the second page of this story.
GE is the top conglomerate, outside of Berkshire Hathaway, and Walmart is the world’s largest retailer. Apple made more than GE and Walmart combined in net income last year, despite sales expectations being less than half of Walmart and only about 20% higher than GE. Apple’s employee headcount is one-sixth that of GE and one-40th that of Walmart. All three companies have comparable forward price-to-earnings (P/E ratios). Apple dominates these others in cash and cash equivalents.