Animated chart of the day, Apple vs Microsoft edition

By Felix Salmon
September 18, 2012
felixsalmon.com.

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Back when this blog was on hiatus, I put a chart of Microsoft and Apple valuations up over at felixsalmon.com. People liked it, and so I decided to take the obvious next step, and animate it. The result is the video above, and this gif.

The data are a little bit out of date at this point, and so you can’t see Apple soaring to its latest $650 billion valuation* — but it’s easy to see where it’s going. And the big picture is still very clear: Apple basically curves up with market cap being an inverse function of p/e, as you’d expect; when Microsoft, by contrast, reached its highest valuation, it had a whopping great p/e ratio.

Today, for the record, Apple has a market cap of $650 billion and a p/e ratio of 16.4; Microsoft has a market cap of $260 billion and a p/e ratio of 15.6. As far as their earnings ratios are concerned, both are very much in line with the S&P 500, which is currently trading at a p/e of 16.5. Wherever excess earnings growth is going to come from, the market isn’t expecting it from either of these tech giants.

*Yes, I said $700 billion in the video. I meant $700 per share. Oops.

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