Financial Research Report

This study will consider Apple Inc.

Background information about Apple Inc

Yahoo Finance (2014) and Apple Inc (2012) detail that Apple Inc is a technology company located in Cupertino in California, United States. It is in the sector of consumer goods in the industry of Electronic equipment and full time employees are about 80, 300.

Apple Inc is one of the technology giants in the present technology industry. It develops technologies in terms of products and services. Products include the hardware, accessories, and software. While services offered by Apple Inc include consultations on the functionality of programs and related technologies. The hardware products include mobile phones, laptops, and computers. These are developed alongside their compatibles software, programs and applications. The applications are customized to the specific need of the users. Some of the outstanding products include iPhone®, iPad®, Mac®, iPod®, Apple TV®.  Widely used consumer, industrial and professional software and programs that are compatible with the Apple Inc hardware include the iOS and OS X® operating systems, iCloud®. The world is becoming more trendy and concerned with the modalities of content access and product utility facilities. For instance, consumers need applications that can access mails while at the same time listening to music, or watching a movie or any other multi tasking functionalities. In this context, Apple Inc sells or allows downloads and use of  applications such as Mac App Store, App Store SM, iBook Store SM and iTune Store SM. The company produces products that meet the immediate need of the consumers and others come as part on technological innovations which end up the trendy need (Apple Inc.,2012).




Rationale for choosing the company for which to invest

Potential of Apple Inc in product portfolio

The company has a large base of product portfolio. This enable it meets the varied needs of the market and optimizes on sales. In the background information, the stated products are categorized from specific product portfolio. Mac products come as desktops, portable computers, and compatible hardware. The specific products in this portfolio include iMac®, Mac Pro® and Mac mini, MacBook Pro® and MacBook Air®. Portable devices such as ipod comes with multiple products that facilitate consumer use and interaction; iPod touch, iPod nano ® iPod Shuffle and iPod Classic ®. Apple TV comes with unique utilities that enable the user stream content form the computer via the TV in High definition technologies. The content ranges from music, video, photos, podcasts. The content could be played straight from the iTunes, Netflix, you tube and images from Flickr. Applications such as iWork and iLife come with outstanding user interface. iWork contains Pages ® for word users, Keynote ® for presentation work and Numbers ® which serve for spreadsheets. These apps have additional tools in comparison with what the competitors offer.  iLife is a product that focuses on lifestyle and organizational culture. Some of the features on this platform are iPhoto®, iMovie®, iDVD®, GarageBand®, and iWeb™ (Apple Inc., 2012).

To get the perspective of the Potential of Apple Inc in product portfolio, it is critical to observe it in terms of product differentiation and competitive advantage. Apple products are unique in the market owing to the principle of compatibility. The hardware and application programs are restricted to the products of the same company. Therefore, it creates a connection between market and product identity. In this strategy, Apple has over the years created a product and cultural orientation. In this light, Boyaci and Ray (2003) and Falletta (2005) observed such entities sustain a steady market while the new products continue attracting new customers. A broad product portfolio is poignant in synthesis of the market behavior towards certain products of the company. If the market shows negative behaviors towards a given product, the sales of different product sustain the business operation. The model of Boyaci and Ray (2003) and Falletta (2005) systemizes how variations in the forms of technologies can be used to meet the market demand and compete favorably.

µ1 = ᾳ – ß pp1 + Өp (P2 – P1) – ßl1 + Өl (ℓ2 – ℓ1) . .  . . .. .  . .  . . . . .. .  ..  . ..  . . . . . . . . . (i)

µ2 = ᾳ – ß pp1 + Өp (P3 – P2) – ß22 + Ө2 (ℓ3 – ℓ2) . .  . . . . . . . .. .  ..  . ..  . . . . . . . . . . . . (ii)

µn = ᾳ – ß ppn + Өp (Pn+1 – Pn) – ßnn + Өn (ℓ n+1 – ℓn). .  . . . . . . . .. .  ..  . ..  . . . . . . . . . (iii)

Where, µ1 is the mean demand for the product 1; µ2 is the mean demand for the product 2; µn is the mean demand for the product n

ß p is the price sensitivity of demand

ᾳ is the capacity for the product.

Ө1 is the rate of demand for the first product; Ө2 is the rate of demand for the second product. Өn is the rate of demand for the nth product.

The equations (i), (ii), and (iii) systemize how a company may increase the products and satisfy the demand. This is only true for a company that can sustain the quantity of the products demanded while at the same time meet the trendy and dynamic nature of the market. The three equations also indicate that the more Apple Inc generates relevant, high quality products and services the greater the portfolio, and the greater the sales and increase in revenue.

If Mean demand decreases, the price also decreases. Specific increase of the price in the complementary products reduces the demand of the product. The company must come up with modalities of getting the demand of the product and market behaviors with great precision (Boyaci & Ray, 2003; Falletta, 2005).

Apple’s product portfolio also has the advantage of brand extension. This is self evident in the analysis of the trends in the market, and the nature of innovations at Apple. For instance, initially, iPod, mobile phone and device-internet interface products were developed separately. However, the development of iPhone integrated the utilities on the mobile phone, internet interface and the features of the iPod. In the recent technologies, Apple develops hardware that is compatible with downloadable applications and upgraded operating systems. In this respect, Apple is able to compete favorably in the highly dynamic and competitive industry. The process of analysis the dynamics of the market and corresponding products and services must look at the organizational components and determine their efficiency in relation to the desired products. Once the company attains a coherent, efficient internal functioning, it must relate the internal system to the external systems. This will reveal the demand in the market and position of the competitors. In this light, diagnosis of the marketing model becomes vital. The diagnosis guides in understanding the behavior of the organization. It also helps the marketing plan to categorize data to enhance the planning process. Diagnosis also guides in interpretation and making sense of the organizational processes. Since its establishment, Apple has sustained continuous innovations that meet the market demands. The brand of Apple enables it come up with products and services that are quickly adopted in the market because of the brand extension effect. Some products are an upgrade of the existing one or complementary (Fairholm, 2009; Utama, 2007; Kent, 2004; Falletta, 2005; Long, 2008; Apple Inc., 2012).

Apple has demonstrated strategic Merger and acquisitions. These organizational development strategies are anchored on product portfolio and competitive advantages. The company thus increases the market share and counter the competitors. Apple’s acquisition of iTMS enabled its customers download music free and directly install on their iPod. This is a strategic integration of the products and third party products as a unit for sale to the customer (Apple, 2012; Sharpe, & Arewa, 2007; Kent, 2004).


Synthesis of the business and economic environment of Apple Inc

Synthesis of the business and economic environment of Apple Inc considers competition, economic, political, legal, technological, and socio-cultural forces. In the view of McLean (2005), Iacobucci (2013), Kent (2004) and Stonehouse, Snowdon (2007) strategic business environment affects both the brand and the associated products. This is to mean that the brand “Apple” may affect the sale of music on its ancillary products on the iTune. Therefore there must be a systematic analysis of Apple Inc in terms of its competitors, collaborators, context, company, and the customers. The products and services of Apple Inc are thus priced depending on the nature of the products and services, the place in terms of individual country or region, and promotion. In this respect, Apple has developed a marketing strategy that favors both the domestic and the international markets. International markets are further segmented to meet the specific business contexts of the country and customers. For instance the products of Apple in Switzerland may not be sold at the same price in a third world economy. The pricing is done without jeopardizing the standards of the brand and its products. Also the company ensures that it keeps abreast the products and the pricing of the homogeneous products and services of the company that share in its oligopolistic circles. Smythe and Zhao (2001) systemized how companies that share product portfolio ought to compete successfully. Strategic marketing will meet such competition by innovation to improve on the quality of the products, reduce prices without affecting the variable costs, increase quantities and apply the principle of the first-mover. One of the ways of overcoming the competitors is by establishing the specific product in the market as the first one. The market has a positive response to the first-movers (Discussed in the next section of this report).

Apple Inc (2012), details that its revenue comes in different currencies. Its suppliers, retailers, and distributer’s network are in different countries. This explains why the global business and economic environment affects Apple Inc directly or indirectly. Volatility in foreign currency exchange rates may force the company to adjust the local pricing on products. The global economic environment may determine business activity of the company. Apple draws 61% of its net sales from the international market and 39 % from the local market. A reduction in the international market sales also affects the overall revenue of the company. Specifically the company has operations in Asia, North America, and Europe. The international operations spread the risks that may arise due to centralized operations. It also reduces the costs of operations, transportation, retailing, distribution and costs incurred on by the third parties. Costs of the third parties usually have retrospective effect on the segmented pricing of the products. Currently the company does its final assemblies in Ireland. The international operation of the company subjects the company to possible international economic effects. Other operational effects may arise from trade protocols, shift in taxation policy, political instability, protocols on environment and monetary or fiscal policy in the country of operation (Apple Inc, 2012). Stiglitz (2009) and Apple Inc (2012) systemize how the global economic condition affects business operations. One of the recent most economic situations that affected international markets was the 2008/2009 economic recession. Governments and institutions and individual investors employed austerity measures in their operations. This was aimed at cushioning their economic operations form the budget deficits. Given that some of the customers of Apple Inc include institutions and government entities, this affected the number of sales to these customers. There was also a shift in the financial and banking policy which also affects the financial markets. Companies with operations and customers in Europe were largely affected with the effects of budget deficits and foreign debts affecting employees and causing an increase in taxation (Stiglitz, 2009; Joffe, 2012; Apple Inc, 2012).

Apple does not take chances on the possible business problems that can arise from the financial and economic bubbles. The company signs agreements with financial institutions on foreign currency forwards and options of up to six months forward. The agreements are geared towards cushioning the company from risks on assets, ongoing transactions, forecasted and documented cash flows awaiting maturity, and net investment in foreign subsidiaries. This kind of hedging protects the company from foreign exchange exposures. The company also carries out sensitivity analysis to determine the potential impact of fluctuations in the financial markets. Currently the company uses the Value at Risk (VAR) model to determine its risk status in the financial markets (Apple Inc, 2012).

International markets are vital to the robustness of Apple Inc. The company has successfully integrated the concept of market positioning, targeting, and segmentation. According to Yahoo Finance (2014) and Apple Inc. (2012) the company has operational and market segments in Europe, Japan, Asia –pacific and related retails in other parts of the world. Between 2011 and 2012, net sales of Apple in Europe increased by 31% ($ 8.5 billion). The sales are notable from the demand on iPad2, iTune stores, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. This came after the company had expanded the user interface in 2011 and recorded a $ 9.1 billion increase in net sales.  In Japan, the Company had recorded a 37% ($1.5 billion) increase in net sales between 2010 and 2011. There was an increase in sales of Mac and iPad. The increase was greater in 2011 – 2012. 94% ($5.1billion) increase in net sales was recorded for sales of iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. The market also showed a strong demand for iPad 2 and products on iTune. Asia pacific posted an increase of $ 14.3 billion (174 %) between 2010 and 2011 while in 2011 -2012; the company posted an increase of 47 % which is translated as $ 10.7 billion. Like the Europe and Japan market segments, the net sales were mainly on Mac, iPhone 5, and iPad 2. The company has also invested in the retail outlets and in 2010 – 2011, it posted an increase of 44% ($ 4.3 billion) in net sales. The retail stores had increased from 317 to 357. During the same period, the average revenue per store increased by 27%. In 2011 – 2012, Apple Inc had posted $ 4.7 billion (33%) in net sales. There was a strong demand for iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad, Mac, and iPad 2 (Apple Inc, 2012).

The trends in the international market indicate the importance of broader product portfolio, strategic positioning, targeting, and segmentation. This business aspect must be integrated with the business operations in the international market and the competitors. It is aptly noted by Apple Inc (2012) and Iacobucci (2013) profitability of a company increases when segmentation is done basing on current market size, the expected levels of growth, competition, and market behavior. The forecast must be done in light of the business ability to sustain supply of the demanded products and services. The company must also demonstrate the high levels of innovation. As observed in the above segments (Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific) high volumes of sales were made and the variations in the types of products were able to meet the demand (Apple Inc, 2012; Iacobucci, 2013).

Apple’s First – mover effect as a strategy in oligopoly models

Apple Inc has pioneered and created tremendous effect in the market with its brands. However it faces stiff competition from other technology companies such as Microsoft and Intel. Technology companies target segmented markets with specific products and services. For instance, in developing professional products, the companies develop products and services with the same demand in market but different user functionality. While Microsoft may come up with office suite with PowerPoint for presentation, Apple come up with Keynote ® for presentation work. The two products are aiming the same demand but they are employing strategic and technical variations on the products. The nature of the products and the quantities determine the revenues and business operations in this oligopoly market. Snowdon (2007) and Burgelman, Grove, and Meza (2006) aptly noted that Oligopolies have tendencies of designing strategies that give them a competitive advantage in the market. this is achieved by making products that have additional value to the user. This is significant in companies that have converging market characteristic. First mover is one of the strategies employed as an entry behavior. For new companies that want to make an impression, the first mover strategy may entail a broader approach on a number of its products and services. In this respect, the companies that have already created a brand such as Apple increase their market share and influence through the products. Much is spent in research to develop good products that can hit the market faster. Once the products are ready for the market and the security of the idea cannot be guaranteed, the first mover effect is used to create a market segment for the product. Companies that are already in the market will leverage on the first mover by concentrating on specific products and not on the entire brand. The strategy is meant to establish the product’s image to the market with an impact that goes beyond the specific product competitiveness (Apple Inc, 2012; Snowdon, 2007; Burgelman, Grove, & Meza, 2006).

Financial information and ration analysis of Apple Inc

Details on earnings per share (refer to appendix 1); Balance sheet (Refer to appendix 2); Cash flow (Refer to appendix 3); Break down of Sales (Refer to appendix 4).

Financial Ratios

At the time of writing this report, Yahoo Finance (2014) indicated Apple Inc current revenue per share 195.94; Current ratio 1.63, profit margin is 28.57 %; operating margin was 28.57 %, returns on assets are 15.69%; returns on Equity 29.50 %; revenue was at 176.04 billion; Beta is 0.74; quarterly revenue growth of 4.70 %; gross profit of $ 64.30 Billion; and payout ratio of 29.00 %. The company recorded weighted average shares outstanding of  $ 934,818 in 2013, $ 924, 258 in 2012, and $ 909,461in 2011. Basic earnings per share were $ 44.64, $ 28.05, and $ 15.42 in 2013, 2012, and 2011 respectively. According to Hill, Perry, & Andes (2011) it is vital to investigate the company’s strength to withstand the economic down turn. This helps the investment decisions and the internal management strategies. Information in the financial statement and the financial ratios determines the liquidity, profitability, leverage, and size of the company operations. The indicators are used in statistical determination of the level of risk, success, distress, and possibility of bankruptcy. For instance, the level of risk for a company is measured by Beta. The index is used in systematic risk analysis calculated from the portfolios of the company. Some of the factors used in systematic risk analysis include the variance, correlation coefficient, semi-variance, standard deviation, covariance and coefficient of determination (Hill, Perry, & Andes, 2011; Uremadu, Egbide, & Enyi, 2012).

As noted in the segmented business analysis of Apple Inc, the company operates in a highly dynamic industry. The company has managed to overcome the uncertainties on the returns on investment. The product varieties help the company to meet the demands that are general to the industry and specific to the segment. Return on investments especially the capital and asset investment. In such a business environment Uremadu, Egbide, & Enyi (2012) suggested the relation on Capital on assets as

ROA . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .  .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . .. . . . . .  . . . . . . (iv)

In which ROA is the Return on Assets

ßo is constant of regression, usually determined at the point of intersection with the y-axis

ßi is coefficient of change

X it is the variations associated with liquidity and profitability of the company.

Conventionally, return on Assets is given by the relation,

ROA = (Profit before interest and tax)/ (Total Assets)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .  . (v)

The international presence of Apple Inc especially in Europe, America, Japan, and Asia pacific is an indicator of steady investment in assets. In 2011 total current assets was $ 44, 988 million, $ 57, 653 million in 2012, and $ 73, 286 million in 2013. Net tangible assets was $ 72, 183 million in 2011, $ 112, 851 million in 2012, and $ 117, 793 million in 2013. Current return on asset is 15.69% (Apple Inc., 2012)

Stock price analysis

According to Apple Inc (2012), the company declared that it would pay dividend of up to $ 2.5 billion per quarter of the declared dividends. This value would translate to about $ 2.65 per share. The total stockholder was $ 76, 615 million in 2011, $ 118, 210 million in 2012, and $ 123, 549 million in 2013. The current stock indicators (as at the time of writing this report), the company posted a beta of 0.74 , 52 – week change is 46.12%, 52  – week high is 651.26, 52- week low is 388.87, and 50 – day moving average is 597.14. The stock details of Apple are significant in widening the company portfolio, ability to service debt and capacity to sustain the internal business operations. In case of business down turn Apple has an option of taking loan, or private financing, or floats its shares to the public to raise funds to meet production requirements and general business operations. The company has showed steady rise in assets, this increases the investor confidence in Apple because of its high revenue on bonds (Apple Inc, 2012; Yahoo Finance, 2013; Hahn, & Lange, 2008).

In the light of Apple Inc (2012) and Yahoo Finance (2014) the company posted a steady increase in the assets; Net tangible assets was $ 72, 183 million in 2011, $ 112, 851 million in 2012, and $ 117, 793 million in 2013. Current return on asset is 15.69%. The Shares outstanding is 861.38 million with a float of 860.16 million. The percentage held by insiders is at 0.04%. The shares held by institutions are at 62% and the dividend ratio of 29.00% (Apple Inc, 2012; Yahoo Finance, 2013; Sharpe, & Arewa, 2007).

Hahn and Lange (2008) show that asset values are used in the formulation of the value of bonds. Using the empirical formula of discounted cash Flow (DCF)

V bond = ∑t = n Coupon/ (1 + y) t + Face value / (1+ y) n . .  .. . . . . .  . . .. . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . (vi)

Where n = bond maturity period; y = time of yield; coupon = interest rate; Face Value = price of the bond at the time of determination.

t = n Coupon/ (1 + y) t  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .. . .. . .. . .. . . . . .  . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . (vii)

Face value / (1+ y) n . . .  . . . . .  . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . .  . . . . . . . (viii)

Equation term (vi) is the represents the present values of the payments to be done after duration of the company operations. The second term of the equation (vii) represents the principal value. Equation (vi) is especially used for income bonds which are calculated from the interests of the investment


The recommendations are derived from the following factors

Strengths of Apple Inc

  • The company has a strong innovation capacity,
  • Has the resources that can meet sustained market demand,
  • Has strategic mergers and acquisitions,
  • A broad product and services portfolio,
  • Strong market segmentation domestically and internationally.
  • Strong brand name

Weaknesses of Apple Inc

  • Most of its products are incompatible with devices from other companies
  • The company has a geographical limitation of market segmentation

Opportunities for Apple Inc

  • Increased demand for its products in emerging economies
  • Increased online content that is compatible with its devices as oulets.

Threats for Apple Inc

  • Court cases may derail its focus
  • Violation of copyrights and patents
  • Financial and economic bubble

Against this backdrop, it is recommended that

  1. Investors in Apple Inc should understand the portfolio of the company.
  2. Investor should be from outside the company (insider share percentage is 0.04.)
  • The investor should be ready to trade in both income and revenue bonds.
  1. The potential investor should not aim shares exceeding the float of $ 860million

















Apple Inc. (2012). Annual Report. Cupertino, CA: Apple Inc.

Boyaci, T., & Ray, S. (2003). Product differentiation and capacity cost interaction in time and price sensitive markets. Manufacturing and service operations management, 5(1), 18-36.

Burgelman, A.R., Grove, S.A., & Meza, E.P. (2006). Strategic dynamics. New York, NY: McGraw

Fairholm, M.R. (2009). Leadership and Organizational Strategy. The innovation Journal: The public Sector innovation Journal, 14(1), 1-16.

Falletta, V.S. (2005). Organizational diagnostic models: A review & synthesis. Sunnyvale, CA: Leadersphere.

Hahn, W., & Lange D. (2008). Teaching Bond Valuation: A differential Approach Demonstrating Duration and Convexity. Journal of Economics and Finance Education, 7(2), 13-19.

Hill, T.N., Perry, E.S.,& Andes, S. (2011). Evaluating Firms in Financial Distress: An Event in History Analysis. Journal of Applied Business Research, 12(3), 60-71.

Joffe, D.M. (2012). Rating Government Bonds: Can we Raise our Grade? Econ Journal Watch, 9(3), 350-365.

Kent, R. (2004). Merger and Acquisition Strategies: The importance of understanding organizational culture in mergers and acquisitions. Making mergers a growth strategy, 7(1), 1- 6.

Sharpe, F.N., & Arewa, B.O. (2007). Is Apple Playing Fair?Navigating the iPod FairPlay DRM Controversy. Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, 5(2), 332- 350.

Snowdon, B. (2007). Competitive advantage revisited: Michael porter on strategy and competitiveness. Journal of management inquiry, 16(3), 256 – 273. DOI: 10.1177/1056492607306333

Stiglitz, E.J.(2009). The current Economic Crisis and Lessons for Economic Theory. Eastern Economic Journal, 35(9), 281-297. doi:10.1057/eej.2009.24

Stonehouse, G., & Snowdown, B. (2011). Competitive Advantage Revisited: Michael Porter on Strategy and Competitiveness. Journal of Management Inquiry, 16(3), 256-273.

Uremadu, O.S., Egbide, B., & Enyi, E.P. (2012). Working Capital Management, Liquidity and Corporate Profitability among quoted Firms in Nigeria Evidence from the Productive Sector. International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management sciences, 2(1), 80-97.

Utama, B. (2007). Brand extension. The benefits and pitfalls. Bloomhead. Retrieved. 8 June, 2014.

Yahoo Finance. (2014). Apple Inc. AAPL. Yahoo Canada Company. Retrieved 8 June, 2014.












  1. Earnings per share
2012 2011 2010
Net income …………………………………………. $ 41,733 $ 25,922 $ 14,013
Weighted-average shares outstanding ………………………. 934,818 924,258 909,461
Effect of dilutive securities ……………………………… 10,537 12,387 15,251
Weighted-average diluted shares ………………………….. 945,355 936,645 924,712
Basic earnings per share ……………………………………. $ 44.64 $ 28.05 $ 15.41
Diluted earnings per share ………………………………….. $ 44.15 $ 27.68 $ 15.15



  1. Balance sheet
Financial indicator 2013 ($ ‘000,000) 2012 ($ ‘000,000) 2011 ($ ‘000,000)
Total Current assets 73, 286 57, 653 44, 988
Long assets 207, 000 176, 064 116, 371
Total current liabilities 43, 658 38, 542 27, 970
Total  liabilities 83, 451 57, 854 39,756
Total stockholder Equity 123, 549 118, 210 76, 615
Net tangible assets 117, 793 112, 851 72, 183


  1. Cash flow
Financial indicator 2013 ($ ‘000,000) 2012 ($ ‘000,000)  

2011 ($ ‘000,000)

Total revenue 170, 910 156, 508 108, 249
Cost of Revenue 106, 606 87, 846 64, 431
Gross profit 64, 304 68,662 43, 818
Operating Income Loss 48, 999 55,241 33, 790
Net income 37, 037 41, 733 25, 922
Net income applicable to common shares 37, 037 41, 733 25, 922


  1. Apple’s breakdown on sales
Sales 2012 ( ‘000,000 for USD and ‘000 for units of sales) 2011 ( ‘000,000 for USD and ‘000 for units of sales) 2010 ( ‘000,000 for USD and ‘000 for units of sales)
Regional net sales



Sales on retail

57, 512

36, 323

33, 274

18, 828


27, 778

22, 592

14, 127


18, 692

8, 256


Sales basing on the nature of the products
Desk tops



entertainment services such as music



Accessories and compatibilities

Software and applications

6, 040

17, 181

5, 615


8, 534


80, 477

32, 424




3, 459

6, 439

15, 344

7, 453


6, 314


47, 057

20, 358


2, 330


2, 954

6, 201

11, 479

8, 274


4, 948


25, 179

4, 958


1, 814


2, 573











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