If you’d asked me five minutes ago about the respective values of Apple and Microsoft, I’d have guessed that Microsoft has at least twice the value of Apple. For the benefit of any readers who, like me, have missed the news: Apple is currently worth more than Microsoft. Huh! Apple is worth $230 billion, Microsoft $223 billion.
Microsoft has about three times as many employees as Apple, about a quarter more revenue and about three quarters more profit. Apple’s P/E is about double Microsoft’s, meaning that investors are willing to pay twice as much for Apple’s profit than for Microsoft’s profit. But presumably Apple is the future. Google, by the way, is only worth $156 billion, another number I’d have absolutely no way of coming up with. Nokia is a measly $32 billion.
I wonder what other wildly unexpected valuations there are out there. I’m thankful that my job isn’t to buy and sell international technology companies.