83% in 2008 compared to 2007, but by 127.10% when compared to 2004. Shareholder equity is also included in the ascendant trend revealed by Apple for all financial highlights. By 2008, it had increased by 314.30% relative to 2004. Compared to the previous year, the growth was of 44.71%.
The final row of the table deals with the net cash provisions used by the investing operations. These do not reveal a trend, increasing in some years and decreasing throughout others. They however show that Apple has been active in seizing investment opportunities, and that, while some project have returned a significant return on investment, in other cases, the benefits have yet to materialize. In 2008 as compared to 2007, the cash provisions used by the investment operations met an increase of 152.04%. This is the single sign in the financial analysis which may suggest that Apple should not invest any more for the time being, but strive to generate a return on their already existent projects.
Aside the financial resources used to finance new investments, all the other financial highlights reveal a constant and sustained ascendant trend. Through the lenses of financial highlights, the Cupertino-based organization seems strong and proves its past managerial abilities to identify and take on the most profitable investment opportunities. The final decision on whether to further invest at this moment or not cannot however be made without an analysis of the Apple financial ratios. The table below reveals some of the most relevant rations for Apple and the industry average.
Industry Average (2008)
Gross Profit Margin
The Quick Ratio and the Current Ratio measure the financial strength of an organization in comparison to the industry's average. Except for 2008 compared to 2007, the QR has registered steady growth. The CR constantly grew. Both variables are superior to the industry average, meaning that Apple possesses sufficient liquidities to honour its short-term debts.
The Gross Profit Margin is also revealing an ascendant trend and values superior to the industry's average. This profitability ratio shows that Apple is a strong organization which still has sufficient money left from its revenues, once it deducts its incurred costs. The Operating Margin is yet another tool used to measure profitability. The increasing values over the past years and the superiority over the industry's average means that Apple has a strong pricing strategy and that they are able to efficiently conduct their operations.
Just like the previous rations, the pre-tax and the net margins are superior to the industry and grow each year. This reveals a strong corporation with reliable income and an ability to manage its assets and make returns on its investments.
The Inventory Turnover rates have registered a decrease in 2007 as compared to 2006. This means that the company's products spent too much time in stock and it was generally due to reduced sales. The value is still superior to the industry, meaning that the Apple products are easily sold. The situation is similar for the Asset Turnover, which remained constant in 2007 but decreased through 2008. The values above the industry average imply that Apple makes more money of its assets than other organizations.
With few exceptions, the financial analysis of Apple Inc. reveals a strong company, which is able to profitably use its revenues to generate additional incomes.
The it industry is extremely dynamic and evolves at a rapid pace. The players within this sector have learnt to adapt to the changing requirements of the market. Three notable representatives of the it industry are Apple Inc., Del Inc. And the IBM Corporation. The question that is being set here is whether Apple Inc. should consider further investing with the aim of expanding its operations. The financial analysis reveals a strong company which would be able to generate additional incomes from its investments. However, there are few indicators that the potential investment opportunities should not yet be taken. Foremost, in the globalized context of an economic crisis, it would be advisable for Apple to take a more protectionist approach and strive to further consolidate its current position, rather than engage in risky operations.
2009, Website of Apple Inc., http://www.apple.com/last accessed on February 11, 2009