It was a little more> than 13 years ago that BusinessWeek printed its now-infamous cover story about Apple (AAPL),
Indeed, since that cover story, and the subsequent return of co-founder Steve Jobs, the company s prospects -- and stock -- have soared. Shares are up more than 2,500% since the article was published and now account for over 15% of the Nasdaq 100 stock index.
Such is the reality of a competitive, market economy, where profit-seeking innovation means that today s leaders are often tomorrow s laggards. Under capitalism, no company can rest too long on past laurels or success. From Eastman Kodak to Smith Corona, American business is littered with once-dominant companies overtaken by more productive competitors.
Historic Market Capitalizations for Major Technology Stocks
Source: Rosewood Research, Bloomberg>
What determines which companies succeed and which fail, which grow and which retrench, are the decisions made by management and the contributions of employees. What boosted Apple to an all-time high last month wasn t a government bailout or stimulus check, but actual productivity and wealth creation, readily apparent to anybody who's used Apple s state-of-the-art gadgets in recent years.
I am not a tech geek or company evangelist, but the fact that the iPhone is, quite simply, a miracle of human achievement. It s a phone, a map, a camera, an encyclopedia, and stereo, among a thousand other uses, all for a few hundred dollars upfront and a reasonable monthly fee. Consider that my family s old Apple II cost more than $1,200 back in the late 1970s, a hefty price for a machine that didn t do much beyond a rudimentary version of Lemonade Stand. The iPhone demonstrates wealth creation incarnate.
Ten years from now, it s quite likely Apple won t be the industry juggernaut it is now. At this very moment there are thousands of hungry, small firms vying to become the next Apple or Google or Microsoft (MSFT),
Sleepy Sony Soars With MJ
I last wrote about Sony (SNE)
Wanna Be Startin Somethin
Sony Corp. (SNE) - 2 years>
The stock has continued higher, notching a new yearly peak last week above $30. Considering they traded as high as $150 fewer than 10 years ago, and that it s hard to see evidence of massive herd participation, this is one trend that could easily persist for some time.
At the time of writing, Hoenig s fund held shares of Sony Corp.>