How Much is Apple Stock Really Worth? A History and Outlook

As both a long-time Apple user and casual stock market observer, I must admit I constantly have the tech giant‘s share price floating around in the back of my mind. "How much is Apple trading at today? What‘s driving the latest moves up or down? And where could the stock be headed next?"

I figured exploring those questions in detail would interest a lot of other Apple followers as well. So in this guide, we‘re going to walk through Apple‘s stock history before assessing where this titan could be valued in the years ahead.

Get ready for an in-depth look at the world‘s most valuable public company!

Apple by the Numbers

First, let‘s quantify why Apple garners so much investor attention in the first place. Some key stats:

  • $2.25 trillion market cap – The largest of any U.S. public company as of Jan 2023
  • $394.3 billion revenue in 2022 – Up over $100 billion in the past four years
  • 1.8 billion active devices – The heart of Apple‘s sticky product ecosystem
  • $30 billion+ in services revenue – Fast-growing segment encompassing Apple Music, iCloud, App Store, Apple TV+ and more
  • 92% gross margin on services – Showcases the profitability of Apple‘s platform

So in terms of scale, financial performance, and loyalty amongst users, Apple checks every box you want to see in a premium business. No wonder shares command a premium price!

Now let‘s rewind through the major events that brought Apple from a fledgling startup to the corporate empire it is today…

The History of Apple Stock

DateEventStock Price
Dec 12, 1980Apple IPO at $22 per share$0.10 (split-adjusted)
Sep 16, 1985Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO$27.13
Dec 20, 1996Apple acquires NeXT, Jobs returns as advisor$19.31
Aug 6, 1997Jobs named interim Apple CEO$5.59
Nov 27, 2000Dot-com bubble burst, Apple shares crater$1.74
Oct 23, 2001First Apple iPod released$6.56
Sep 12, 2005Apple introduces podcasts on iTunes$9.41
Jan 9, 2007Apple unveils the iPhone$11.88
May 26, 2010Apple passes Microsoft in market capitalization$43.24
Oct 5 2011Jobs passes away, Tim Cook takes over as CEO$54.16
Sep 21, 2012iPhone 5 breaks opening weekend sales records$92.52
Aug 2, 2018Apple reaches $1 trillion market cap$59.51
Oct 13, 20205G iPhone 12 unveiled, powered by A14 chip$124.40
Jan 3, 2022Apple stock reaches all-time intraday peak$182.94

Reviewing this timeline, we see Apple stock ride wave after wave higher thanks to product innovations, platform stickiness, and the aura of visionary founder Steve Jobs.

However temporary declines did hit during leadership uncertainty, broader economic woes like the dot-com crash, and occasional concerns about Apple‘s premium pricing model in emerging markets.

Still, the long-term trajectory is clearly a story of enormous value creation. $10,000 invested in Apple at IPO would be worth over $17 million today!

Now let‘s analyze the key market narratives impacting shares at the moment…

Apple Stock Drivers Today

As we enter 2023, Apple stock sits about 25% lower than 2021/early 2022 highs. What factors explain this pullback?

Slowing iPhone demand – With inflation pressing on consumer budgets and 5G upgrades largely complete, iPhone sales could decelerate after a blistering 5-year run.

China production snarls – Draconian COVID lockdowns and factory worker unrest have hindered iPhone output at key locations like Foxconn‘s Zhengzhou plant.

Surging US dollar – Appreciation versus foreign currencies creates an earnings/sales headwind for multinational giants.

Lower risk appetite – Investors fleeing growth names as rates rose impacted Apple and tech broadly in 2022.

However, true to Apple‘s history, bulls see the current malaise setting up the stock for its next leg higher.

Potential catalysts ahead? Expectations for the company‘s much-rumored AR/VR headset launching later this year will buoy optimism. Furthermore, Apple‘s foray into auto manufacturing could open a vital new vertical with huge revenue potential down the road.

Meanwhile, services like Apple One bundles, Apple TV+, Apple Music, and iCloud retain much room for monetization with 1 billion+ iPhone users locked into the ecosystem.

Sizing Up Apple‘s Stock Valuation

When assessing technology stocks, traditional PE ratios often fall short given the opportunity to monetize future innovations. Still, they provide a shorthand view into relative valuations.

At a recent price of $130 and trailing EPS of $6.11 over the past year, Apple‘s PE ratio stood at about 21.3x. Compared to other tech titans:

  • Microsoft PE ratio: 26x
  • Alphabet PE ratio: 18.1x
  • Amazon PE ratio: 87x

So Apple trades at a moderate premium to "old guard" peers like Microsoft, even with slower growth baked in. This seems justified given Apple‘s brand appeal amongst consumers and the potential for new catalysts boosting earnings as explored above.

Zooning out, Apple outpaced the broader market over most long-term windows, though struggled in 2022‘s bear market environment vs. benchmarks:

Time PeriodApple ReturnsS&P 500 ReturnsOut/Underperformance
1 Year-23%-18%-5%
5 Year CAGR+14%+9.5%+4.5%
10 Year CAGR+19%+11.5%+7.5%

So while Apple has faced recent headwinds along with the broader tech sector, its premium returns over the S&P 500 during iPhone/iPad-fueled boom times justify richer valuations moving forward.

As innovation cadence and services monetization offset device sales volatility over the years ahead, Apple seems poised to continue outpacing benchmarks and rewarding buy-and-hold investors.

Checking Apple‘s Share Price

Given Apple‘s ubiquity amongst retail investors, getting quick snapshots of AAPL share prices and trends is thankfully straightforward through leading finance sites.

Both Yahoo Finance and Google Finance allow this with just a simple search of the company name, with the latest per share price prominently displayed right up top.

Apple Stock Price - Google Finance Screenshot

These hubs also compile helpful supplementary data charting Apple‘s market cap, trading volume, price multiples, ownership breakdowns, analyst consensus targets and more in an easily digestible format for individual investors.

So whether wanting a quick check-in while on mobile or seeking to dive deeper into financial metrics when researching at home, Google and Yahoo Finance have you covered.

The Road Ahead

While Apple faces some temporary headwinds, the company‘s peerless brand loyalty and knack for defining new consumer device categories point to more outperformance ahead.

As digital integration only deepens globally in the years ahead, Apple sits at the epicenter building our most personal computing devices and binding experiences together through their intuitive software ecosystem.

Sure longtime CEO Tim Cook may lack the legendary founder mystique of Steve Jobs. But Apple‘s executive team today likely represents the deepest bench in tech. Design guru Jony Ive did recently depart, but a $120 billion war chest gives Apple its pick of technical and design talent globally. So the culture of innovation instilled by Jobs persists.

Add in potential new sources of growth like AR headsets, autonomous vehicles, health services, and further monetizing iTunes/App Store content, and you have the recipe for Apple‘s market-beating run to continue.

I know I for one don‘t see myself leaving the Apple ecosystem anytime soon. And likely hundreds of millions other consumers feel the exact same loyalty and stickiness.

This network effect should buoy Apple stock for years to come, even if prone to occasional volatility when iPhone sales ebb and flow. For me, that makes AAPL a long-term holder through thick and thin.

So what do you think? Does Apple‘s history suggest more outperformance ahead? How are you looking to play the stock going forward? Let me know in the comments!

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