Apple and Gafams, new safe havens for investors

In August 2018, the unimaginable was reached: Apple, the firm founded by Steve Jobs passed the threshold of $ 1 trillion in market capitalization. The affair seems banal today, and on this first stock market day of the year 2022, Apple crossed the threshold of 3,000 billion dollars (2,655 billion euros), before declining slightly. This is more than seven times the value of the French luxury champion LVMH and more than the forty French flagship stocks of the CAC 40 combined (2,700 billion dollars in cumulative capitalization).

Apple is not alone, along with other American tech giants: Microsoft is worth $ 2.5 trillion, Alphabet (Google) $ 1.9 trillion, Amazon $ 1.7 trillion, Tesla $ trillion. Close to this bar are Meta (Facebook, 935 billion) and Nvidia (735 billion).

The Gafams (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) pulled the odds in this year 2021, while small technology stocks suffered sometimes significant corrections. By a curious phenomenon, investors, who used to take refuge in US Treasuries when stocks were at too high a level, shun them, which yield virtually nothing in a period of zero interest rates (the rates risk-free at ten years are 1.63% while inflation is at an annual rate of 6.8%). They prefer to buy Apple securities, now considered one of the safest assets on the planet and whose value increased by 38% in 2021. In December 2021, the Moody’s agency granted the Cupertino (California) firm ) the AAA rating, as it had previously done at Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson. France’s rating, AA2, is two notches below.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers “Any weakening of Gafam would threaten deficits, pensions, the dollar”

Record sales in the last quarter of 2021

Apple’s economic performance largely explains this journey. The maker of the iPhone – its flagship product sold at high prices all over the world and which represents more than half of its turnover – made a net profit after tax in the fiscal year ended in September 2021 94 billion dollars on a turnover of 366 billion dollars, that is to say a rate of net profit of more than 25%. To this is added a treasury of $ 62 billion, lower however than the 100 billion in 2019, which makes the firm a fortress. She is worth 32 times her profit, which is high but not irrational. According to the Bloomberg agency, of the 45 analysts who follow the title, 35 advise to buy it and only two dare to offer to sell it.

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