Financial Analysis of Apple.
Background and Industry
In 1976 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer, Inc. Jobs and Wozniak vision was to develop a computer that is portable and easy to use. The process started in Steve Job’s household where the first product focused on its capabilities, meaning bare bones. The cosmetics were added in 1977 and Apple changed the computer industry after going public with their product in 1980 (www.loc.gov, 2015, p. 1-2).
Apple encountered challenges along the way which included Wozniak leaving the organization in 1983 and Jobs in 1985. Steve Jobs launched his own business, NeXT Software and attained Pixar from George Lucas. The acquisition of Pixar later proved that it was one of the finest moves from Jobs. Although Apple was able to hold its ground without Steve Jobs, the organization realized that without a software the company will soon close its door. Sculley, the current president at that time decided to work with Jobs once more. Steve Jobs became the interim CEO and he revolutionized Apple (www.loc.gov, 2015, p. 3-7)
Apple’s innovation of computers and how music was perceived through a portable device became the game changer for the organization. Apple’s success skyrocketed with the release of their mp3 and various handheld devices including the iPhone under Steve Jobs’ supervision.
Growth Trend Analysis
When analyzing the growth trends for Apple we can see a lot of negative trends but, when looking at the full financial health of Apple it is financially healthy. Also, when comparing Apple’s growth trends to Microsoft’s growth trends Microsoft looks healthy in growth wise than apple but, apple has a healthier financial state. Even though Apple had a low net income growth each year and Microsoft had a high net income growth, you can see that in total Apple had more net income growth than Microsoft did in total. In conclusion, Apple came up with many other services and products to increase and/or improve their growth trends each year.
|APPL Trend Analysis (In Billion)|
|Sales Revenue||$ 215,639||$ 229,234||$ 265,595||$ 260,174||$ 274,515|
|Cost of Goods Sold||$(131,376)||$(141,048)||$(163,756)||$(161,782)||$(169,559)|
|Total Gross Profit||$ 84,263||$ 88,186||$ 101,839||$ 98,392||$ 104,956|
|Cost of Goods Sold||100%||107%||114%||113%||118%|
|Total Gross Profit||100%||104%||113%||109%||115%|
|NOTE: The percentages are approximation of the total calculation of sales revenue, COGS, and gross profit.|
|Microsoft: Trend Analysis (in Millions)|
|Cost of Goods sold:||$38,353||$42,910||$46,078|
|Total Gross Profit:||$72,007||$82,933||$96,937|
|Cost of goods sold:||100%||111%||107%|
|Total gross profit:||100%||115%||116%|
Trend analysis is a method that is used to identify trends within a business or organization. The data will guide an individual to either replicate or adjust the areas where the company had done well or improve areas that the organization was deficient (business.qld.gov, 2016, p. 1-2).
APPL had a steady increase in revenue from 2016 to 2020, as seen in the linear sales. The rise in revenue sales varied between 4% to 8%. In 2019, an approximate 2% decrease in revenue. Compared to Microsoft’s last three years have also had consistent revenue increases averaging 13.98% from last year (Microsoft Corp, 2021). Microsoft’s revenue increased $17.2 billion (14%) due to sales mix shift to higher margin businesses (Microsoft Sec Filings, 2021). The decline was caused by a 10% increase in the operating income/expenses and an 11% decrease in pretax income from 2018 to 2019.
According to Nicas 2019, the APPL had a significant decline and stagnant revenue from the previous year. Nicas explained that one of the enormous sales incomes [China] for APPL affected sales performance. APPL also believes that consumers are now keeping their iPhones longer, which also affected the company’s sales. Another variable that could have affected APPL’s revenue loss in 2019 is the foreign exchange rate (Nicas, 2019, p. 5-8). Microsoft’s success is partly due to the intelligent cloud segments and increased cloud usage demand due to customers shifting to working from home, gaming and learning from home (Microsoft Sec Filings, 2021). LinkedIn was also negatively affected by COVID-19 due to a weak job market and advertisement reductions (Microsoft Sec Filings, 2021).
Lastly, APPL has been relatively consistent with the company’s overall growth in terms of its revenue. The organization showed a robust economic response in 2020, even with the pandemic halted many organizations. The organization will likely have a continues growth for the next year. Although Microsoft had some minor setbacks due to COVID-19, it still continued to increase revenue by 14% ($17.2 billion), gross margin by 17% ($14 billion), and increase operating income by 23% ($10 billion) from last year. Microsoft will continue to lead the IT industry even after shifting some of its goals to help fight against COVID- 19 and will continue to make a profit in the process.
Financial Ratio Analysis
The table above provides a visual representation of Apple’s liquidity ratios over the last five years. From the fiscal years of 2016 to 2018 Apple saw decreases in both liquidity ratios. 2018 saw the company’s worst performance, which is when Apple saw historical lows in both the quick and current ratios.
Although Apple never saw a decrease in current assets from 2016 to 2018, the amount of current liabilities also increasing. In 2018 the current liabilities that Apple had accumulated was very close to the amount of assets, which led to the historic low in both the current and quick ratios. However, there was a big jump in assets during the 2019 fiscal year that helped improve the company’s liquidity.
Taking a look back at what Apple had done during 2019, we can see how this large increase in assets had occurred. Among the many software and hardware releases that occurred throughout the year, there were several notable releases. Among the notable releases there were the airpods, AppleTV+, PowerBeats pro, iOS13, the Apple Card and many more. After their 2019 campaign there was a slight dip in 2020 that was most likely due, in part, to the pandemic.
Even with the fluctuations in liquidity ratios, Apple never appears to have many issues when it comes to utilizing assets to pay off debt. The main issue that the company must be wary of is allowing the amount of current liabilities to catch up current assets.
(Morningstar, Inc., 2021)
(Morningstar, Inc., 2021)
The tables above depict the various aspects of the company’s overall operations from the fiscal years of 2018 to 2020. Looking at the first table, it can be seen that Apple has performed quite well in all categories over the last 3 years. The drop in days of sales in inventory indicates that the company is selling its inventory efficiently. The days of sales outstanding increased quite a bit in 2019, but reached a 3 year low in 2020 which demonstrates Apple’s increase in short term liquidity. The last category of the first table is days of payable outstanding, which has had a downward trend since 2018 further demonstrating the strength of the company’s short term liquidity.
The second table lists the company’s turnover ratios. Apple’s total asset turnover ratio has been steadily increasing because of the company’s ability to generate sales from its various assets. The company’s main area of concern appears to be their fixed asset turnover ratio. This category hit a 3 year high in 2018 but since then Apple has not been able to replicate that performance, though they came close to it in 2020. Other than that particular area of growth, the company has done well to increase both its receivables and inventory turnover ratios. The improvement in the receivables turnover ratio reflects the improvement in days of sales outstanding.
Overall it appears that Apple Inc. is a company with high liquidity, and management has done a good job of effectively generating sales with the company’s assets. Their main area of improvement would be in regards to their fixed asset turnover ratio. The company must make better use of their equipment to drive sales, but based on Apples 2020 performance management appears to be on the right track.
Figure 1: Apple Inc. Profitability Ratios
Figure 2: Microsoft Corp. Profitability Ratios
Apple Inc’s overall profitability has been decreasing since fiscal year 2016 reporting. Apple’s gross profit margin has steadily diminished over the last several years (2016-2019) with a slight increase in 2020 reports. On the other hand, competitors such as Microsoft Corp. are increasing year to year signaling grave differences in operating expenses, specifically those expenses related to cost of goods sold. Apple Inc’s gross profit margin is roughly half that of competitors. To stay competitive and increase profits, Apple Inc. should consider lowering expenses in relation to the production and storage of their goods. The company has an outstanding reputation in the real world and holds contracts for business equipment etc. Markup of the iPhone and other Apple Inc. products is not a problem or deterrent among consumers as public demand for the products soar despite price increases.
Similar to gross profit margin, the operating profit margin of Apple Inc. has decreased every year since 2016, an opposing trend to that of its major competitor Microsoft Corp. which has seen steady gains over the same time period. The change in the ratio is due to regular increases in operating expenses and decreases in net income.
Net profit margins for Apple have not had an increase since 2018, the year the previous presidential administration introduced large corporate tax cuts. The 2018 fiscal year had a net profit margin 0.0739 greater than its competitor. Unfortunately, that did not last, and Apple Inc. has been at least 0.099 points behind competitor Microsoft Corp. since 2018.
Figure 3: Apple Inc. Return on Investment Ratios
Figure 4: Microsoft Corp. Return on Investment Ratios
While Apple Inc.’s profitability ratios have had a rather consistent downward trend, the return on investment ratios are well above their competitor Microsoft Corp. However, Apple’s basic earning power is not increasing at a similar rate of 0.01655 points per year, Apple Inc. has seen very inconsistent basic earning power with a significant drop in 2017 of 0.0167 points. In 2018 Apple Inc. had an increase of 0.0293 points in basic earning power, the only year in which the rate of growth was greater than or equal to its competitor. It seems this huge increase in earning power could be due to changes in corporate tax rates as the amount of taxes paid that year decreased by over $2 million. Apple Inc. continues to show an ability to generate more profits than its competitor; despite fluctuations in EBIT, the company has done well to create large profits on decreasing assets.
Return on Assets has remained high for Apple Inc. except for the year 2017 in which total assets were higher than 2018-2020 and net income was roughly $10 million less than the following years. The ability to lower total assets and retain or increase income shows an ability of the company to capitalize on the earning potential of its assets.
While Apple Inc.’s return on equity ratios remain more than double that of Microsoft Corp., they are steadily declining. Similar to other ratios, 2018 saw a large increase while every other year from 2017-2020 saw a decrease in return on equity.
Return on Equity
Apple vs Microsoft
Return on Equity is a measure of financial performance calculated by dividing the net income by shareholders’ Equity. Because shareholders’ Equity is equal to a company asset minus its debt, ROE is considered a net asset return (Egam, Ilat & Pangerapan 2017). It is also calculated by multiplying the net profit margin by total asset turnover and the total equity ratio. The figures are in percentage form. The ROE of Microsoft corporation has been increasing with time. It is also in the case for Apple corporation, which is one of its competitors. One of the factors that increase ROE is inconsistent profits (Morningstar 2021). Another element is excess debt. Microsoft has had reduced debt. It means that the proportion of loans to income is deficient.
The management system in Microsoft corporation has been doing good work to ensure the organization’s resources effective. The organization has been earning a profit on its assets, and its wealth has been increasing. A majority of profits generated are being reinvested, which increases the organization’s value by a surge in the total value of the assets. It impacts the shareholders’ Equity as it also increases (Egam, Ilat & Pangerapan 2017). Microsoft’s ROE is on the competitive line with Apple Incorporation that sells similar products. Using a competitor to assess the organization’s position is very beneficial as it helps gauge the current position as the organization seeks to be the best in the market.
Microsoft Corporation has Apple as one of its competitors. The total asset to equity ratio for Microsoft corporation is slightly lower than that of Apple corporation. From the table above, it is also evident that Microsoft’s total asset turnover ratio is higher than Apple’s. The net profit margin for the organization says different. It is because Microsoft corporation for Microsoft is higher than that of Apple (Morningstar 2021). The debt to equity ratio for Apple is high as compared to that of Microsoft. It means that Apple corporation is more profitable and stable as compared to Microsoft.
If the management is to improve its ROE, it should use more financial leverage. It is possible if the organization increases the amount of debt capital relative to its Equity. It will be possible if the after-tax cost of debt is lower than its return on Equity. The management can also focus on increasing profit margins. It was increasing profits relative to Equity increase the ROE of the organization. The organization can increase ROE by selling more products, reducing production cost, or comprehensive marketing approach to attract more sales. Management can also improve asset turnover. It is possible as the organization can ensure that there are more sales than the value of the assets (Egam, Ilat & Pangerapan 2017).
Microsoft corporation faces the challenge of having idle cash in its assets. The cash amounts should be distributed to its shareholders. Idle cash can also be used in the operations of the organization. By reducing the dividends to be paid to the shareholders, the ROE gets to reduce. Moreover, if the organization uses the resources to increase profitability, then the organization will have an increased ROE. The management should also focus on reducing the amounts deductible for taxation purposes. It can be done by using more of the allowable tax expenses. It allows the organization to enjoy much of the resources at the expense of the government. As the tax rate lowers, there is an increase in the organization’s equity return (Egam, Ilat & Pangerapan 2017).
Recommendation and Reflection
Based on the company’s financial performance over the last 3 to 5 years, it is safe to say that Apple Inc. will be financially sustainable over the next 3 years. In terms of sales revenue alone it can be seen that the company has been on an upward trend that is likely to continue into the next few years. According to marketscreener.com, by 2023 Apple is projected to increase its net sales by a little over $90 million (“APPLE INC. : Financial Data Forecasts Estimates and Expectations | AAPL | MarketScreener,” n.d.). There are various other factors that contribute to this prediction.
Apple’s ability to generate sales using its assets plays a large role in maintaining financial sustainability because it increases liquidity. As far as assets are concerned the company has a multitude of them beyond the technological products that they are known for. There are various services and partnerships that bring in additional revenue such as AppleCare, Apple Music, the Apple Card, AppleTV+, the Barclays rewards card and many more. Over the years, Apple itself has become its own culture as management does a great job of fostering a sense of community that keeps customers loyal to the brand. With Apple expanding its range by entering the tv subscription industry, and potentially the automotive industry as well, the amount of contributions to the company’s financial stability continues to rise.
One thing that the company should be wary of is an oversaturation of products. Earlier it was mentioned that Apple customers are keeping their phones longer, which could be a slight problem for a company that releases new phones every year. The iPhone Upgrade Program, Apple’s “phone leasing” program, somewhat helps resolve this issue but it does not appear to be the solution. Overall, Apple appears to be on track to continue its upward trend into the next few years.
Surprisingly this was my first time working on a project like this at UMGC and I had an overall good experience. There were communication problems in the beginning as expected, but I feel like we worked through them fast and set up a game plan fairly quick for the remainder of the weeks. We eventually found out that if we split up the work, so that we can all contribute. I have learned that if you are not clear on something it is always a good idea to ask, so that everyone can walk away with a clear understanding. I could apply this to the workplace in many different ways; collaboration, communication, using Microsoft excel, and researching and interpreting data. Especially how most companies are switching to telework or working from home, I think that this was a great learning experience for that. – Jesse
In completing this assignment I learned about the various factors that contribute to a company’s overall operating performance and what investors use this data for. I also learned how much a company’s financial data alone can tell you about the management’s decision making without having to ask them directly. I can apply what I have learned to conduct my own company valuations and know what to look for before I invest. I can also apply the skills I have gained in financial analysis to my future career. – Dimitry
This is the second time working on this project but, I had done it by myself due to the professor. I learned that it is easier to do projects that are extensive with a team because you can ask your team members for advice and get help and/or give help for any portion of the paper. Also, in the beginning we had a communication issue however, I learned how to communicate it and resolved the issue before it was too late, and it was easy. I believe that this experience will follow me into my future classes and careers. – Celine
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Microsoft trend analysis
Sales Revenue: Year: 2018 2019 2020 Microsoft: Trend Analysis (in Millions) 110360 125843 143015 Cost of Goods sold: Year: 2018 2019 2020 Microsoft: Trend Analysis (in Millions) 38353 42910 46078 Total Gross Profit: Year: 2018 2019 2020 Microsoft: Trend Analysis (in Millions) 72007 82933 96937
Apple Inc. Profitability Ratios
Gross Profit Margin 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 0.38229999999999997 0.37819999999999998 0.38340000000000002 0.38469999999999999 0.39079999999999998 Operating Profit Margin 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 0.25490000000000002 0.26640000000000003 0.28670000000000001 0.28970000000000001 0.2888 Net Profit Margin 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 0.20910000000000001 0.21240000000000001 0.22409999999999999 0.2109 0.21190000000000001
Microsoft Corp. Profitability Ratios
Gross Profit Margin 2020 2019 2018 0.67779999999999996 0.65900000000000003 0.65249999999999997 Operating Profit Margin 2020 2019 2018 0.38900000000000001 0.36849999999999999 0.3553 Net Profit Margin 2020 2019 2018 0.30959999999999999 0.31180000000000002 0.1502
Apple Inc. Return on Investment Ratios
Basic Earning Power 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 0.216 0.20480000000000001 0.2082 0.1769 0.19359999999999999 ROA 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 0.17730000000000001 0.16320000000000001 0.1628 0.1288 0.14199999999999999 ROE 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 1.1306 1.2232000000000001 1.4807999999999999 1.3481000000000001 1.4619
Microsoft Corp. Return on Investment Ratios
Basic Earning Power 2020 2019 2018 0.18459999999999999 0.1618 0.1515 ROA 2020 2019 2018 0.14699999999999999 0.13689999999999999 6.4000000000000001E-2 ROE 2020 2019 2018 0.54969999999999997 0.49969999999999998 0.23269999999999999
Apple vs Microsoft
ROE 2020 2019 2018 2020 2019 2018 Microsoft Corporation Apple 38.599242603550302 40.164885839929639 18.506964995602463 86.030121166207522 58.799004884517622 55.073510928604762 TAT 2020 2019 2018 2020 2019 2018 Microsoft Corporation Apple 0.49 0.46 0.44 0.83 0.74 0.72 NPM 2020 2019 2018 2020 2019 2018 Microsoft Corporation Apple 30.96 31.18 15.02 20.91 21.24 22.41 A/E 2020 2019 2018 2020 2019 2018 Microsoft Corporation Apple 2.5443786982248522 2.8003518029903254 2.8003518029903254 4.956994184266911 3.7409658525803957 3.4132524498366776 D/E 2020 2019 2018 2020 2019 2018 Microsoft Corporation Apple 0.60016906170752327 0.76585556532786092 0.98899903288201163 1.7208448117539026 1.1940545916675875 1.0684087727484834
2020 Sales Growth COGS Growth Gross Income Growth Interest Expense Growth Net Income Growth Cash & Short Term Investments Growth Asset – Total – Growth 5.4600000000000003E-2 4.8599999999999997E-2 6.4500000000000002E-2 -0.1966 3.9E-2 -9.5500000000000002E-2 -4.3200000000000002E-2 2019 Sales Growth COGS Growth Gross Income Growth Interest Expense Growth Net Income Growth Cash & Short Term Investments Growth Asset – Total – Growth -2.1999999999999999E-2 -9.4999999999999998E-3 -4.2000000000000003E-2 0.1037 -7.1800000000000003E-2 0.51700000000000002 -7.4399999999999994E-2 2018 Sales Growth COGS Growth Gross Income Growth Interest Expense Growth Net Income Growth Cash & Short Term Investments Growth Asset – Total – Growth 0.16289999999999999 0.15609999999999999 0.17399999999999999 0.3947 0.23119999999999999 -0.1062 -2.5600000000000001E-2 2017 Sales Growth COGS Growth Gross Income Growth Interest Expense Growth Net Income Growth Cash & Short Term Investments Growth Asset – Total – Growth 6.7000000000000004E-2 7.7499999999999999E-2 5.0200000000000002E-2 0.59550000000000003 5.8299999999999998E-2 0.1046 0.16669999999999999 2016
Sales Growth COGS Growth Gross Income Growth Interest Expense Growth Net Income Growth Cash & Short Term Investments Growth Asset – Total – Growth
2020 Sales Growth COGS Growth Gross Income Growth Interest Expense Growth Net Income Growth Cash & Short Term Investments Growth Asset – Total – Growth 0.13950000000000001 7.3800000000000004E-2 0.17369999999999999 -3.5400000000000001E-2 0.1285 2.0199999999999999E-2 5.1499999999999997E-2 2019 Sales Growth COGS Growth Gross Income Growth Interest Expense Growth Net Income Growth Cash & Short Term Inves tments Growth Asset – Total – Growth 0.1391 0.1011 0.15989999999999999 -1.72E-2 1.3680000000000001 4.0000000000000002E-4 0.107 2018 Sales Growth COGS Growth Gross Income Growth Interest Expense Growth Net Income Growth Cash & Short Term Investments Growth Asset – Total – Growth 0.14749999999999999 0.12559999999999999 0.1598 0.23 -0.34989999999999999 5.8999999999999999E-3 3.4099999999999998E-2 2017 Sales Growth COGS Growth Gross Income G rowth Interest Expense Growth Net Income Growth Cash & Short Term Investments Growth Asset – Total – Growth 0.13370000000000001 5.6099999999999997E-2 0.18260000000000001 0.78759999999999997 0.51739999999999997 0.17430000000000001 0.29380000000000001 2016 Sales Growth COGS Growth Gross Income Growth Interest Expense Growth Net Income Growth Cash & Short Term Investments Growth Asset – Total – Growth
APPL Trend Analysis
Sales Revenue 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 215639 229234 265595 260174 274515
Cash in Billions