Apple’s $90 billion run


Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a senior editor at Fortune.

The company has gained nearly one Facebook in value since Steve Jobs died

On Oct. 4, the day before Steve Jobs passed away, Apple (aapl) shares closed at $372.50 and its market cap stood at $347 billion.

Four months later, the stock is up nearly $100 and its market cap is $437 billion. To put that $90 billion gain in perspective, it's nine tenths the value analysts have placed on Facebook in advance of its initial public offering.

Some believe that Facebook is being overvalued, but it's hard to argue that Apple is.

Erik Savitz in
Forbes
calculates that a Facebook worth $100 billion would have a P/E of 100x trailing earnings, or 27x trailing revenues. By comparison, he writes, Apple is trading at 3.4x trailing revenues and 13x trailing profits. Back out the nearly $100 billion Apple now has in cash, and the valuation drops to 2.6x revenues and 10x earnings.

Not that Apple can't get further squeezed. In fact, two prominent Apple bulls, Bullish Cross' Andy Zaky and Economic Timing's Jason Schwarz, have both made the case in the past week that Apple's shares are, in Schwarz's words, "ready for a sell-off."

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