With a market cap of more than $2.6 trillion, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) might not seem like a great candidate to deliver market-beating performance over the coming years. But in this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Nov. 15, Fool.com contributors Danny Vena and Jason Hall discuss why it could be an excellent investment right now, despite its massive valuation.
Danny Vena: Apple was the first company to cross a $1 trillion market cap, another company that really needs a little introduction. A couple of things that I would like to point out about Apple. While Apple only has, mind you, these are somebody else's estimates, but the company has about a 13% market share in the smartphone market worldwide. Yet, the iPhone is responsible for 75% of all the profits from smartphones in the world. That's an incredible metric in my mind.
Jason Hall: For a while, it was a 100% for a number of years.
Vena: It was higher than it was. I don't think it was ever 100%, but yeah, it was pretty high. Yes, there are a lot of players out there. The iPhone is the single dominant high quality smartphone out there. In my opinion, I think one of the other things worth mentioning is, if you go back several years ago when Apple first crossed $1 trillion, even among people at The Motley Fool, there were some who said, "Yes, that's it for Apple. They've got this percentage of the smartphone market, the company has gotten this big. I don't see any more growth for them."
Then Tim Cook pivoted and said, "Let's focus on subscription services and services in general." Now the company has streaming television, it has streaming audio, it has video games, it has a number of services that now account for the fastest growing part of Apple's business. Aside from being the dominant profitable cellphone provider on the planet, Apple has all these other ancillary businesses that continue to grow as its market share grows in the iPhone market. Let's not forget about the Macs and the notebooks and everything else Apple pays a dividend.
One of my favorite charts of all-time when it comes to Apple's business has to do with its dividend, even though I'm not necessarily a dividend investor. But if you look at this, Apple's dividend, since it reinstituted it back in 2012 has more than doubled. I think this is something that you are going to continue to see go up and up. It was actually my number one pick and very strong case for it there.
Hall: I just noticed on our spreadsheet we used to calculate these ranks out. I actually ranked it ninth [out of nine "forever stocks"]. I meant to rank it eighth and rank Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) as ninth. I can't remember, it's one of the two. Here's the thing about it for me. It's this simple for me.
I have a huge bias when it comes to very large companies at this stage in my investing career. I'm so focused on being able to capture steadily larger and larger share of market. The vast majority of my holdings are in retirement accounts where I'm not worried about capital gains. If I had a large holding in one of these companies in a taxable account and then experience 20-years of great returns, it might change my thinking. I want to be sure to really put my thinking in that bucket. I really struggle with thinking about this is on forever at this point because of that situation for me.
But for so many of the things you said, Danny, I think Apple's just going to continue to get stronger, because the thesis was, like you said, it's already got so much of the share of the smartphone market. How much bigger can that get? It can't get bigger. Then what have they done? They've turned this into the portal. It's still the biggest source of profits, but it's the portal for all of the other things that are going to be huge.
Smartwatches that's helping it get into healthcare. Not even just talk about fitness, but healthcare. You've got fitness and healthcare. You have streaming entertainment properties. There are all of these ways that it's diversifying that fit within that walled garden. They work within that platform that it's built, the ecosystem to use a term that's been around for a long time. I think it's fair to call it an "own forever" company, it's just not for me.