Amazing Apple

The company continues its rapid growth, but its shares remain relatively cheap.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated since its original publication in the October issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.

Apple (symbol AAPL (opens in new tab)), which we continue to recommend despite Steve Jobs’s departure as CEO, delivered spectacular results for the March–June quarter, with sales up 82% and earnings up 122%. It is running neck-and-neck with ExxonMobil (XOM (opens in new tab)) for the title of world’s most valuable company.

Despite the stock's ascent, Apple remains a buy, selling at less than 12 times estimated earnings for the fiscal year ending in September 2012, as of August 24. That’s only a tad higher than the price-earnings ratio of the overall stock market, even though Apple is growing much faster than the typical U.S. company.

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(Prices and related data in the image above are as of August 4, 2011. Sources: Apple, Canaccord Genuity, International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook Database, Thomson Financial, Yahoo. Click image to enlarge.)

Manuel Schiffres
Executive Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance