Shares of the technology giant are up 1,022% since Tim Cook replaced Jobs as the Apple CEO on Aug. 24, 2010. Yes, that tops the S&P 500’s 286% rise in that time. But it ranks Apple stock just 45th for stock gains in that time in the S&P 500. That gain barely puts Apple in the top 10% among the 459 current S&P 500 members trading since then, says an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith.
Apple stock simply is not the exceptional S&P 500 stock it used to be.
Apple stock soared 6,712% in the roughly 14 years following Jobs’ return to Apple in Sept. 1997 until he resigned for health reasons. That made Apple the S&P 500’s No. 2 top stock following only Monster Beverage (MNST), which shot up 39,344% in that time riding the energy drink craze.
And Apple stock’s remarkable 15,839% run from 1982 up until Jobs’ tenure ended in 2011 is one of Wall Street legend. It ranks third among the S&P 500 in that time.
But now Apple stock is showing its age.
Apple Stock An S&P 500 Also Ran
All the S&P 500 stocks zipping past Apple in the last 10 years highlights how it’s shifting into the slower lane. Apple, up just 12.8% this year, is even lagging the S&P 500 in 2021 so far.
What’s the top S&P 500 stock since Jobs’ stepped down? Elon Musk’s Tesla (TSLA). It’s up 15,281% in that time, running circles around Apple stock’s 1,022% gain. And it’s not just stock market speculation. Tesla’s revenue since 2010 is up nearly 27,000% from 2011 — making Apple’s 320% top-line growth look pedestrian.
Apple’s not even the top-performing S&P 500 technology stock anymore with Cook at the helm. Nvidia (NVDA), led by its visionary co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang, takes that accolade. Shares of Nvidia, a pioneer in high-performance computer chips, have shot up 6,539% since Jobs left Apple.
Meanwhile, Apple stock is getting lapped by many of its top rivals’ stocks. Shares of Amazon.com (AMZN) are up 1,587% since Cook took over ranking it No. 20 in the S&P 500 in that time. And even historical archrival Microsoft (MSFT) is topping a post-Jobs Apple stock. Despite Apple’s relentless advertising painting Microsoft as hopelessly outmoded, Microsoft stock is up 1,132%, topping Apple. Should you buy Apple stock now?
In Defense Of Apple Stock
Apple stock may not be the absolute market leader in the S&P 500. But you won’t find many investors lamenting they own it.
It’s still part of the IBD Leaderboard list of top stocks thanks to strong fundamentals. Apple is expected to earn $5.57 a share this fiscal year, up nearly 70% from fiscal 2020. Apple, too, can at least say its stock topped Alphabet‘s (GOOGL) 980% rise since Jobs stepped down.
And thanks to the powerful iPhone franchise and its nearly annuity-like replacement cycle, Apple stock put $2.4 trillion into investors’ portfolios in the past 10 years. That tops the sheer market value gain of any S&P 500 company. It tops even the $2.28 trillion in market value gained by No. 2, Microsoft. Apple is worth more than any other S&P 500 company.
Apple, too, holds onto its position as a top payer of S&P 500 dividends in terms of sheer dollars, says S&P Dow Jones Indices. It’s paying out $12.3 billion annually in dividends, second only to Exxon Mobil (XOM) at $12.4 billion a year. Apple also boosted its dividend payout more than any other S&P 500 company this year. Keep in mind, too, Apple is aggressively buying back its stock.
All this is why Apple stock may not be the best S&P 500 stock anymore, but it’s good enough for many. Famed investor Warren Buffett holds more than 40% of Berkshire Hathaway’s U.S.-listed portfolio in this one stock.
Just don’t expect Apple stock to relive its good old days.
Top S&P 500 Stocks After Jobs Resigned As Apple CEO
|Rank in S&P 500||Company||Ticker||Stock 10-year % ch.||YTD % stock ch.||Sector||Market value now ($ billions)|
|4||Align Technology||(ALGN)||3,797||30.6%||Health Care||55|
|5||Monolithic Power Systems||(MPWR)||3,797||32.5%||Information Technology||22|
|9||West Pharmaceutical Services||(WST)||2,147||57.6%||Health Care||33|
Sources: IBD, S&P Global Market Intelligence, Steve Jobs resigned as Apple CEO on Aug. 24, 2011
Follow Matt Krantz on Twitter @mattkrantz
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