FORTUNE — The two stock charts at right, comparing Apple’s (AAPL) performance in 2013 to Amazon’s (AMZN) and Google’s (GOOG), tell a very different story than the nine bar charts below.
Produced for Fortune by the reader who posts here as Merckel, the bar charts compare the three companies by more objective measures — boring things like cash flow, return on assets, earnings growth and dividends paid.
The three companies have different business models, of course. Apple makes big profits selling high-end consumer devices at premium prices. Google takes a tiny profit from each of billions of online ad sales. Amazon is constructing a giant virtual mall, pouring the profits from its established stores (books, electronics, etc.) into new ones.
But putting a value on different business models is what the stock market does every day. Judging from Merckel’s bar charts, what the market seems to be saying is that it believes Google and Amazon will keep growing indefinitely.
For Apple, it will believe it when it sees the next hit product.