Look Who Zoomed Past Apple Since It Lost Steve Jobs

It’s been exactly 10 years since Steve Jobs resigned as Apple’s (AAPL) CEO. And Apple stock definitely lost much of its wow factor in the S&P 500.


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)
1 Tesla (TSLA) 15,281% 0.1% Consumer Discretionary $699
2 Nvidia (NVDA) 6,539 68.2% Information Technology 548
3 DexCom (DXCM) 4,417 38.7% Health Care 50
4 Align Technology (ALGN) 3,797 30.6% Health Care 55
5 Monolithic Power Systems (MPWR) 3,797 32.5% Information Technology 22
6 Abiomed (ABMD) 2,884 8.6% Health Care 16
7 Adobe (ADBE) 2,662 31.3% Information Technology 313
8 United Rentals (URI) 2,264 45.7% Industrials 24
9 West Pharmaceutical Services (WST) 2,147 57.6% Health Care 33
10 Generac Holdings (GNRC) 2,112 82.5% Industrials 26
45 Apple (AAPL) 1,022 12.8% Information Technology 2,475
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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