MENU

How Google is now worth more than Apple

This was inevitable. With Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) continued share weakness as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) keeps on marching higher, the search giant was bound to overtake the Mac maker in one important valuation metric: enterprise value.

Enterprise value is calculated as market capitalisation plus debt minus cash. Just looking at market cap, Apple still has Google beat by a long shot with its US$378 billion well ahead of Big G’s US$287 billion. It’s factoring in the cash positions that turn the tables in favor of the search giant. The Wall Street Journal estimates Apple’s enterprise value at US$233.2 billion, with Google just now squeezing ahead at US$240.6 billion.

Apple has historically had no debt, and initially its US$17 billion bond offering had no impact on enterprise value since the company raised an equal amount of cash. However, the market value of Apple’s debt has declined since then along with the broader bond market in part due to macro factors like the Fed preparing to reduce its bond purchasing. Apple’s paper has declined in aggregate value by roughly US$760 million since then, hurting its enterprise value.

The impact of these bond market fluctuations still pales in comparison to the daily moves in the value of Apple’s equity, though. For instance, Apple shares dropped nearly US$11 on Monday, translating into a market cap loss of US$10.3 billion that day — far more than the US$760 million loss in bond value over the past two months.

Google’s long-term debt totals just US$3 billion, so bond market fluctuations aren’t as meaningful to its enterprise value.

Apple’s gross cash position has also grown significantly faster than Google’s. Over the past year, Apple had grown its total cash from US$110.2 billion to US$144.7 billion by the end of March (not including the bond offering that took place after earnings). In comparison, Google’s gross cash is largely unchanged, growing modestly from US$49.3 billion to US$50.1 billion over the same time frame.

Apple’s ability to generate cash at a remarkable rate is a strength in many ways, but it doesn’t help its enterprise value.

The Australian Financial Review says “good quality Australian shares that have a long history of paying dividends are a real alternative to a term deposit.” Get 3 Stocks for the Great Dividend Boom in our special FREE report. Click here now to find out the names, stock symbols, and full research for our three favourite income ideas, all completely free!

More reading

A version of this article, written by Evan Niu, originally appeared on fool.com.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.