FORTUNE -- Remember the stories in the tech press last year that named Apple's (AAPL) Tim Cook the highest-paid CEO of 2011? Remember the headlines a year later announcing that Cook had taken a 99% pay cut?
The problem with both narratives is that they treated the 1 million RSUs (restrictive stock units) Cook was granted in August 2011, after Steve Jobs stepped down, as if they were the same as cash in hand. They are not. Half of them will vest in 2016, the other half in 2021 -- if Cook lasts that long. Until then, those 1 million shares are worthless.
Well, the tech press has done it again.
On Monday, Bloomberg posted a story (repeated by more than a dozen newspaper and blogs) claiming that four Apple senior VPs are among the five highest-paid executives in the S&P 500. The executives named were Bob Mansfield, Bruce Sewell, Jeffrey Williams and Peter Oppenheimer. "Their pay jumped," according to Bloomberg, "after receiving 150,000 in restricted stock units shortly after Jobs passed away."
No, their "pay" didn't jump. Their total compensation packages may have, but only if they stay with Apple long enough to collect them. That's the point of "retention" incentives: they encourage executives to stick around.
As the S&P 500 hits a record high, Apple is once again flirting with new lows.
FORTUNE -- At 3.07% of total market value, Apple (AAPL) is still the single largest component of the S&P 500. But for the past nine months -- for better or worse -- it's gone its own way.
See also: The S&P 500's P/E is headed for a 3-year high. Not Apple's.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 29, 2013 7:08 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
4.7% of earnings. 4.3% of free cash flow. 3.5% of dividends paid. 9.1% of cash on hand.
FORTUNE -- A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from Laurence Balter, chief market strategist for Oracle Investment Research, chastising me for not crediting him with the downgrade -- issued in late August -- that helped lop more than $400 billion off Apple's (AAPL) market value.
I promised to keep a closer eye on his MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 1, 2013 9:41 AM ET
Apple grows 13 times faster than the S&P 500 but trades at a 40% discount ex cash
FORTUNE -- You can add Topeka Capital's Brian White to the growing chorus of sell-side analysts coming to Apple's (AAPL) defense after an eight-week slide that at Friday's intraday low had knocked 28% off its share price and $187 billion off its market cap. (See What's eating Apple?)
"The sell-off," White wrote his clients Monday, "has MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 19, 2012 9:14 AM ET
One of these S&P 500 companies is not like the others
FORTUNE -- Despite widespread economic turmoil on the Continent, Apple's (AAPL) sales in Europe are expected to grow a whopping 32.3% year over year in the second quarter of 2012, according to a report issued Friday by FactSet.com.
Of the 10 largest companies in the S&P 500 by market cap, only two others are expected to see any growth in Europe MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 9, 2012 3:42 PM ET
The picture is even more striking than it was a month ago
In February, Jonathan Golub at UBS started a new fashion on the Street by publishing two versions of his regular quarterly forecast: one for the S&P 500, and another for what he called the "S&P 500 ex-Apple."
Strategists at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Wells Fargo soon followed suit.
In Golub's February calculation, the S&P 500's Q1 2012 earnings were on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 25, 2012 6:21 PM ET
Investors search for reasons the company's market cap grew by $15 billion in one day
The $16.49 Apple (AAPL) rose Thursday was only its sixth largest one-day dollar gain, according to AAPLInvestors, and in percentage terms, 3.46% doesn't even make the top 10.
But when the world's most valuable company rallies a few points, its market capitalization gets a whole lot bigger. According to the Bespoke Investment Group, Apple's one-day gain Thursday -- MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 10, 2012 6:05 AM ET
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