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:
Is there no limit to how much value Wall Street can take out of the stock?
FORTUNE -- In the fall of 2000, when you could buy Apple (AAPL) for $7, the stock's value measured by how much profit it was generating for each outstanding share -- the famous PE ratio -- hit an all-time low of 5.76, according to Wolfram Alpha (see chart below).
On Friday morning, when the stock touched MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 19, 2013 8:27 AM ET
Apple is the largest slice of the 500 and it's one of only three stocks whose P/E shrank
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL), Oracle (ORCL) and EMC (EMC).
Those are the only three companies in the S&P 500 whose price-to-earnings ratio did not grow over the past 90 days, according to a Seeking Alpha piece posted Monday by someone or something called Pendulum.
The other 497 companies have all seen their valuations increase to MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 25, 2013 11:13 AM ET
In 2007 it was trading for nearly 50 times earnings. Today it's 10. What happened?
Perhaps the most succinct commentary on Leonid Kanopka's naive claim that Apple (AAPL) is a "bubble ready to burst" (see "A few fries short of a Happy Meal") was Nicu Mihalache's plaintive response: "Do you know what P/E is?"
The price-to-earnings ratio, as every trader knows, is the simplest way to gauge how the market values a company. A high P/E -- MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 2, 2011 8:28 AM ET
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