Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is one of 31 public companies in the “Computer Hardware” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its peers? We will compare Apple to related businesses based on the strength of its profitability, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, risk and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Apple and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Apple 20.87% 35.40% 14.00%
Apple Competitors 4.22% 10.64% 6.36%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

60.5% of Apple shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 62.2% of shares of all “Computer Hardware” companies are held by institutional investors. 0.1% of Apple shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 13.8% of shares of all “Computer Hardware” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Apple pays an annual dividend of $2.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Apple pays out 28.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Computer Hardware” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.6% and pay out 58.2% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Apple has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Apple and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Apple 0 10 39 0 2.80
Apple Competitors 310 1513 3190 123 2.61

Apple presently has a consensus target price of $190.26, suggesting a potential upside of 19.17%. As a group, “Computer Hardware” companies have a potential downside of 8.27%. Given Apple’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Apple is more favorable than its peers.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Apple and its peers gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Apple $223.51 billion $70.21 billion 18.14
Apple Competitors $21.02 billion $4.40 billion 19.53

Apple has higher revenue and earnings than its peers. Apple is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Volatility and Risk

Apple has a beta of 1.27, suggesting that its share price is 27% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Apple’s peers have a beta of 1.28, suggesting that their average share price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Apple beats its peers on 9 of the 15 factors compared.

About Apple

Apple Inc. (Apple) designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, and a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. The Company’s products and services include iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and a variety of accessory, service and support offerings. The Company also delivers digital content and applications through the iTunes Store, App StoreSM, iBookstoreSM, and Mac App Store. The Company distributes its products worldwide through its retail stores, online stores, and direct sales force, as well as through third-party cellular network carriers, wholesalers, retailers, and value-added resellers. In February 2012, the Company acquired app-search engine Chomp.

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