FORTUNE -- In November, the last time we compared Apple's (AAPL) and Amazon's (AMZN) price-to-earnings ratios -- the simplest and most widely used metric to gauge the relative value of a pair of stocks -- Apple's trailing PE was 13 and Amazon's was 2,767.
We haven't been able to repeat the exercise because while Apple PE has drifted with its stock price to between 10 and 11, Amazon's trailing PE has reached, as Buzz Lightyear might put it, infinity and beyond. (Or, as the stock charts politely have it, NA.)
That's because Amazon, which reported its June earnings on Friday, hasn't turned a profit for three quarters in a row -- a performance that Wall Street rewarded by pushing its stock to an all-time-high of $312.01.
It will come as no surprise to readers here that Apple, which posted record fiscal Q3 sales (but lower earnings) three days earlier, couldn't catch more than a one-day break on the stock market.
That's because as far as Wall Street is concerned, Apple and Amazon are in completely different businesses. As a regular on Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board who calls himself "djt" put it last week:
"The Street sees Amazon as the world's biggest (online) global retailer with almost limitless growth. [It] sees Apple as a (mobile) device maker that because it is wholly dependent on its ability to innovate nonstop, expand its (ultimately saturated) markets while fighting off competition and controlling its very unstable supply chain, has limited growth."
To underscore just how much Wall Street loves Amazon and hates Apple, the reader who posts as "Merckel" has submitted for your consideration nine bar graphs and a five-year sales chart:
It ends this week. Investors might as well get ready for the negative headlines.
FORTUNE -- The bad news is that every analyst we've surveyed -- even the most bullish -- believes that for the first time in a decade Apple (AAPL) will report that its income this quarter was lower than the same quarter the year before.
According to Thomson Financial, the consensus EPS for fiscal Q2 2013 on Friday was MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 24, 2013 9:43 AM ET
Over the past two decades, investing earnings in buybacks or future growth has trumped the stodgy old dividend and nowhere more so than in the tech industry. That is changing.
By Kevin Kelleher, contributor
FORTUNE -- As long as there have been dividends, there have been arguments between shareholders and company managers over whether to pay them. The strongest argument against paying dividends was profit growth: If a company can reinvest MOREJun 29, 2012 6:44 AM ET
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