Over the past few months, the stock market has performed poorly. Out of the recession, a rapid recovery looked ready to drive a lengthy bull market. But a weak U.S. outlook and crumbling economies in Europe have triggered fears of a double-dip recession and global credit crisis, battering the stocks.
Apple never got this memo.
The S&P 500 is down 5% over the past 3 months while AAPL is up 27% over the same period, even with Steve Jobs resigning from the role of CEO. Today, Apple's share price rose nearly 3% (while the Dow Jones and Nasdaq both dipped) to reach an all-time high of $412.
Let us not forget that just five years ago, Apple shares were a lowly $75. What's remarkable about this meteroic rise is that Apple wasn't some hypergrowth startup with an early IPO—while the company may have been reborn, it was still founded in 1976. At that age, growth tends to come slow and steady.
Apple didn't get that memo either.
At $412 per share, Apple (at 35 years old) remains at a very reasonable 16X price-to-earnings ratio, suggesting it is in no way overpriced. And it is tantazingly close to surpassing oil giant Exxon Mobil (141 years old) to become the most valuable company in the world (based on market cap). Exxon has held the number one spot since 2005, when it eclipsed General Electric (119 years old). It has been a while since such a young company has led the world.