[Editoris Note: An unfortunate typo crept into the title of this story as originally published. "Due" was spelled "Sue," and has now been corrected. Thanks to those Observers who let us know of the mistake.]
Forbes magazine brings us word of a stock advisor who is bullish on Appleis stock. According to the report, John Buckingham says that Apple "looks good," in part because of the companyis strong cash position. Apple has some US$4.3 billion in the bank. As an asset, that dramatically strengthens Appleis value. According to the Forbes article:
John Buckingham, editor of the Prudent Speculator (published by Forbes), believes that investors have "thrown the baby out with the bath water" and that exceptional values exist among solid companies that have nonetheless been whacked. Buckingham classifies beaten-down stocks into two categories: the "safe" and the "slaughtered."
The safe companies have strong balance sheets and have had very little company-specific bad news. In the "safe" category, Buckingham is still quite bullish on home builders, especially Centex, which trades at seven times earnings and is growing earnings at a 15% clip. Apple Computer also looks good to Buckingham at $14 a share, given the companyis cash position of about $12 per share.
Also of relevance to Appleis share price is the companyis P/E ratio of 30.31, as of Tuesdayis closing price. That compares to Dellis P/E of 52.59 as of the same closing. Dellis P/E has been helped in part by a US$3.4 billion stock buy back program initiated by the company that has reduced the number of shares on the market. Apple and Dell are among the only profitable PC companies in the market. HP posted a profit last quarter as well, but its combined HP/Cmpaq PC divisions lost money, with HPis printer division making up for those losses, and then some.
A companyis Price to Earnings ratio is often used by analysts and investors when deciding how much a company is worth: the lower the ratio, the more potential for growth, and vice versa. During the dot.com bubble of the late 1990s, stocks often achieved P/E values of 100, and sometimes more than 1,000. Such out of control company values have largely been reigned in during the subsequent tech collapse.
P/E ratios from other tech companies:
- Microsoft - 32.08
- Intel - 48.73
- Gateway - (The company doesnit have a P/E at the moment because Gateway has not earned a profit this year.
- Adobe - 24.55
Robert Paul Leitao contributed to this article.