Steve Jobs (Via Wikipedia)

It was just 14 months ago that Apple passed Microsoft in market value to claim the title of biggest publicly-traded tech company. And the Steve Jobs-led juggernaut shows no sign of giving up its lead.

Apple hit an all-time record high today, gaining two percent to $364.92 on expectations of a positive earnings report next Tuesday. (Microsoft plans to release earnings on Thursday).

What’s more amazing is just how far Apple has blown by Microsoft. The maker of the iPhone and iPad now has a market value of $336 billion, which compares to a market value of $226 billion for Microsoft.

Here’s a look at Apple’s stock performance over the past 10 years.

And here’s a look at Microsoft’s stock during the same period.

Comments

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Apple! I hope that they will soon pay a dividend as Microsoft has during that time.

    • Guest

      What good is a dividend when the loss on the equity side has more than wiped that out?

      Apple has more cash than MS these days and are generating more of it each quarter, again as compared to MS. It’s also mostly in the US, not overseas and subject to taxation if repatriated like MS’s is. So when Apple gets to the point where they feel they need to pay out a dividend, they should be in great shape to do so. But of course since their stock actually appreciates, unlike MS’s, that point is several years away.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kmorrill Kevin Morrill

    It would be interesting to see stories like this model a theoretical $10k investment and show the effect of both stock price appreciation as well as dividends.  I imagine MSFT would still be less than AAPL, but it feels like it would be a more objective view of the situation.

    • Guest

      If you invested $10,000 into Apple in 2001, after a 2,836% appreciation you would have $283,600.

      Microsoft is down 24.92% over the last 10 years. It has paid an annual dividend yield of 2.39%, so you’d’ve received 23.90% of your investment back in dividends. That’s a net loss of (1.02%). If you had invested $10,000 into Microsoft in 2001, you would have ended up with $9,898.

      In conclusion, Apple has won by $273,702.

      • bigpicture

        And that’s not even taking into account the Time Value of Money.  In real terms the loss with MS is more like 30%

    • Justthefacts

      Apple outperformance has been so great over most recent periods that adding back the dividend for MS doesn’t make much difference.

      For example, 00-present is Apple +1353% MS -52%. 10 years is +2836%:-25%. 5 years is +620:+20. 1 year is 46%:7.5%.

      MS is still far head on an all time basis. But for the last decade it’s been no contest, with Apple the clear winner. And based on current positioning there’s not much reason to think that’s going to change anytime soon.

      Ballmer and MS’s board are an embarassment and should have been replaced half a decade ago.

  • Mergathal

    It doesn’t surprise me that a company with lack luster products for the most part can create the image that people have to be cool and own an apple product. There are more security holes in their products per cisco’s annual security report, less features initially when they release their products but because they release them first, people buy them like drones when their competitors have more features before Apple adds them to their next generations. But the big thing people forget about the difference is that Apple is not a really a software company, they are a hardware commpany where as Microsoft is more software moving towards hardware. So comparing the two is almost like comparing Apples and Oranges. Microsoft is trying to move into hardware some but as long as they really only have others make devices for them (excluding the Xbox and the zune) and then provide the software for those devices, they will continue to have a different business model than Apple.

    • bigpicture

      There is a vital part of this equation that you don’t seem to understand.  “People”, “Customers”, “Enjoyable, Delightful User Experience”.  Apple understands this, so does Google, Microsoft does not.  MS never had to understand this because their history and Business Model has been Monopolize, and Control, and the User Experience has been, “Take What You get and Shut Up”.  Works for a while, but not for long, first chance people get at an alternative they will Jump Ship.

      Technical Merit aside, it is what people experience through the actual User Interface, and the “easy to learn and use” part that actually sells the product.  So these products may not be the most “Technically Advanced”, and I don’t own any Apple products at all, but I do admire the suave way they market to the Non Technical.  (real people like mothers, daughters, kids, grannies etc.)   These are the nameless, faceless masses to the controlling MS.  Listen to the Balmer rantings sometime and you may get into the understanding of MS psyche.  Then listen to some of the 40s Hitler rantings and compare, the “control” psyche.  It is not about “pleasing” the people, it is about “controlling” the people. 

      • Mark

        Comparing Steve to Hitler? Really!?! Time for another alias change, this one’s blown.

    • Herman

      The two companies are direct competitors in a number of areas (all of which Apple has either won, is way ahead, or has steadily gained share). And neither is a pure hardware or software play anymore. Both have made major investments on the opposite side. MS’s hardware efforts just haven’t been very profitable (Xbox, Kinect) or successful (Zune, Kin).

      So I don’t know why you think they shouldn’t be compared. It’s just not very flattering for MS.

    • Herman

      The two companies are direct competitors in a number of areas (all of which Apple has either won, is way ahead, or has steadily gained share). And neither is a pure hardware or software play anymore. Both have made major investments on the opposite side. MS’s hardware efforts just haven’t been very profitable (Xbox, Kinect) or successful (Zune, Kin).

      So I don’t know why you think they shouldn’t be compared. It’s just not very flattering for MS.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ee2718 admin 1

    Microsoft used to be an 800 lb gorilla. I guess now it is a 200 lb chimpanzee.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvsboPUjrGc

  • Guest

    It’s not amazing how far Apple has blown by MS when you realize the Apple is now larger than MS and growing seven times as fast. Indeed, relative to growth Apple is actually much cheaper than MS on a P/E basis.

    Apple’s stock success now is the result of a decade of smart decisions and even better execution. MS’s is the result of the opposite over the same period.

    Apple has pretty clear line of sight to $500B in market cap, just based on its current businesses and their growth rates. MS will be lucky to remain above $200B.

    But hey, Steve loves MS’s strategy and MS’s board apparently loves Steve, or at least the only one that matters does: Gates. So expect another “lost decade” for MS, and another glorious one for Apple.

  • Bob

    Meanwhile, given this terrible record of stock performance, what’s MS’s board doing about it? Nothing of course:

    http://www.geekwire.com/2011/microsoft-board-member-group-mere-rubber-stamp

  • Mark

    Prediction: By this time next year, Apple will be worth 2x MS. And Ballmer will still be CEO anyway.

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