Premature celebration: Apple’s market cap never hit $3 trillion

Friend-of-the-blog Daniel Tello points out in his twitter feed that as of Jan. 3, Apple’s market value was still $11.8 billion short.

Widely reported $AAPL $3 trillion cap on Jan 3-4 based on Q4 (Sep) share count, but yesterday’s proxy materials disclose that as of Jan 3 there’s 72m fewer shares and the 3T price nudged to $183.662, still unmet.

From Apple’s Jan. 4, 2022 Definitive Proxy Statement:

As of the Table Date, 16,334,371,000 shares of Apple’s common stock were issued and outstanding. Unless otherwise indicated, all persons named as beneficial owners of Apple’s common stock have sole voting power and sole investment power with respect to the shares indicated as beneficially owned.

My take: Count me among the journalists who failed to do their due diligence.

14 Comments

  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    Praise to brother Daniel Tello for being so thorough, so meticulous in his investment monitoring. While this announcement is informative and should be noted for the record, it does not disappoint me in the least. My measurement of Apple at that 3T mark is one measured on close of market. How many times do we cross a threshold during market hours only to see that high water mark evaporate by market close. So, market close is “my” measurement and we have not hit that marvelous mark …. yet.

    4
    January 10, 2022
  2. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    As I posted in the Apple 3.0 Slack group where a reference to Daniel’s work was first posted (yes, I was joking): “See that! I knew claims of a $3 trillion market cap were a gross exaggeration! The fact that at the recent peak Apple was worth “only” about $2.985 trillion keeps it a deep value buy in my book! I don’t feel so bad adding shares. Once the market cap reaches $3 trillion, for sure the shares are overvalued!” My point is, it really doesn’t matter when Apple achieves a $3 trillion market cap. What matters is the conspicuous and beneficial impact Apple products and services have on the lives of people all around the world and the opportunities that have been created for investors who took the risk of believing in the company over the years. The Apple 3.0 Slack group is open to all Apple 3.0 subscribers. Just ask Philip for an invitation to join the ongoing conversations. I’m not concerned about Apple’s market cap no matter the sensational and overly dramatic headlines on the Street. It’s not about Apple’s market cap. It’s about the opportunities the company creates for people all over the world to be the best they can be, assisted by Apple’s amazing products and services. That’s been the story since the company’s founding and that story is as true today as it was when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak toiled together in a Silicon Valley residential garage.

    3
    January 10, 2022
    • Kirk DeBernardi said:
      Robert Paul L. —

      Hear, hear — bravo.

      Thanks for distilling the fine whisky from that moonshine.

      2
      January 10, 2022
  3. Mark Visnic said:
    Bloomberg, CNBC, et al fired a preemptive strike to a $3T market cap for Apple that prevented it from happening prior to a more broad based market narrative could do the temporary job. It isn’t likely to walk over the line. It will have to burst through it in an irrefutable fundamentals inspired recognition that $3T isn’t the destination but, merely a waypoint on the journey higher.

    3
    January 10, 2022
  4. John Konopka said:
    Slightly off topic –
    Apple posted a long press release summing up 2021.

    https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2022/01/apple-services-enrich-peoples-lives-throughout-the-year/

    The key points I saw were that last year they paid developers $60B, a new record, indicating strong use of the App Store.

    Also, there was this:
    “ This holiday season alone, App Store customers spent more than ever before between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, driving double-digit growth from last year.”
    Again, indicating strong revenue for Apple overall as people who get Apple gifts for Christmas tend to immediately go online and buy apps, games, books and such.

    3
    January 10, 2022
    • Daniel Epstein said:
      I thought the books for Quarter were closed Xmas Weekend this time. This spending may show up in Q2

      1
      January 10, 2022
      • Robert Paul Leitao said:
        Yes. Revenue from the immediate post-Christmas week will be realized in March quarter results. The point is: Strong growth in Services revenue continued in the final week of CY2021 and Services had a strong CY2021. It’s all good.

        3
        January 10, 2022
  5. Dan Scropos said:
    The only numbers I’m worried about are $2.02, which is what I roughly expect for earnings in a little over two weeks.

    1
    January 10, 2022
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:
      That’s a comparatively high estimate. If Daniel’s correct, eps for the December quarter just inched a little higher.

      0
      January 10, 2022
      • Dan Scropos said:
        Luca-“Despite this challenge, we are seeing high demands for our products and expect to achieve very solid year-over-year revenue growth and to set a new revenue record during the December quarter.”

        Tim-“And so, it’s important to know that we’re getting a lot more supply in Q1 than we had in Q4, obviously, because our sequential growth is significant. And we have very solid growth year-over-year. And so, the amount of supply is growing dramatically. It’s just that the demand is so robust that we envision having supply constraints for the quarter.”

        0
        January 11, 2022
  6. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    While just being in the neighborhood of 3T is amazing, I’ve heard it said that close only counts in atom bombs, hand grenades and horseshoes.

    1
    January 10, 2022
  7. Bart Yee said:
    Daniel Tello points out that there’s a net 72M net shares removed, but that would only be $11.52B (assuming an average share price of $160 for Oct.-Dec. quarter) spent for repurchases which is low for a quarter’s repurchases. Important to note share counts include repurchases (which have been ~$18-22B/quarter) plus any shares issued for employee compensation, which has been considerable lately for CEO Tim Cook and upper management as noted in the Proxy statement and SEC filings. In 2021 Q4, 141.5M shares were repurchased at a total cost of $20B, Ave share price of $141.84.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Apple in Q1 2022 used about $20B @ $160/share for 125M shares and issued 53M shares or so in employee compensation? Or $18B for 112.5M shares and issued 40.5M shares. Thereabouts.

    2
    January 10, 2022

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