Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Nine bar charts: Apple versus Amazon versus Google

January 6, 2014: 6:34 AM ET

Apple is more valuable than either company by every measure but Wall Street's sentiment.

aapl,goog,amznFORTUNE -- The two stock charts at right, comparing Apple's (AAPL) performance in 2013 to Amazon's (AMZN) and Google's (GOOG), tell a very different story than the nine bar charts below.

Produced for Fortune by the reader who posts here as Merckel, the bar charts compare the three companies by more objective measures -- boring things like cash flow, return on assets, earnings growth and dividends paid.

The three companies have different business models, of course. Apple makes big profits selling high-end consumer devices at premium prices. Google takes a tiny profit from each of billions of online ad sales. Amazon is constructing a giant virtual mall, pouring the profits from its established stores (books, electronics, etc.) into new ones.

But putting a value on different business models is what the stock market does every day. Judging from Merckel's bar charts, what the market seems to be saying is that it believes Google and Amazon will keep growing indefinitely.

For Apple, it will believe it when it sees the next hit product.

Chart by Merckel. Sources: CNBC, Yahoo, Forbes, and Investor Relations. Click to enlarge.

Chart by Merckel. Sources: CNBC, Yahoo, Forbes, and Investor Relations. Click to enlarge.
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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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