Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Apple closes at a record $699.78, 22¢ shy of $700

September 17, 2012: 5:12 PM ET

But the stock is still worth less than the average run-of-the-mill S&P 500 company

FORTUNE -- It seems the drumbeat of positive news for Apple (AAPL) -- the Samsung verdict, the iPhone 5, the 2 million pre-orders, the rumors of new products in the wings -- was finally too much for the Apple bears.

On Monday, the company's share price shot right up to and, in after-hours trading, finally broke through the psychological barrier of $700 a share.

Although the stock is up nearly 75% over the past 12 months, the company is still relatively cheap by the standards of the S&P 500.

Apple is sitting on a bigger cash hoard ($117 billion) than any company in the world, and the 60% growth rate its earnings have racked up over the past 5 years can hardly be compared with the S&P 500's -1.66%.

Yet even after the stock's recent run-up, Apple's trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 16.45 still hasn't caught up to the S&P 500's 16.50.

Google's (GOOG) trailing P/E ratio, for the record, is 21.05. Facebook's (FB) is 74.46 and Amazon's (AMZN) is 314.25.

Go figure.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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