It’s impossible to turn on CNBC or look at Twitter lately without getting Apple news smashed in your face. This isn’t our specialty, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to watch, and even we succumb to the temptation to comment on the company from time to time. Anyone who can shed $250 billion in market cap in less than 6 months and still be the most valuable company in the world is worthy of discussion – after all, just the amount of money lost is more value than the total GDP of Portugal. If Apple’s market capitalization loss were the GDP of a country, it would be the 42nd largest in the world.
Apple’s every wobble can’t help but be such a big story, because everything the company does takes place on an astonishing scale:
- They brought in $416,000 of revenue per minute in their last quarter
- They earned a profit of $99,800 per minute in their last quarter
- Even after losing 35% of their value, they still make up 5% of the entire S&P 500
- For all the criticism Tim Cook has taken, since Steve Jobs died, the stock is up 22%
- Apple’s cash pile keeps growing – it now contains $137 billion, or more than the total 2012 profit of the 5 biggest US oil companies combined.
Whether soaring or stumbling, Apple is like the proverbial sleeping elephant: we’re going to feel every twitch… or, in this case, mild night terror. As far as managed futures is concerned, Apple’s activities aren’t going to dominate the bigger market movements CTAs are hoping to capture (the S&P 500 is up despite the company’s decline, after all). But that doesn’t make their antics any less fun to watch.
So big you’re having trouble wrapping your head around the numbers, how about some managed futures perspective/comparison. Apple’s $430 Billion market cap (wasn’t that long ago people were talking about a trillion dollar company…) is about 30 times bigger than the average market cap of a NYSE stock at $15 Billion – that’s 3000% bigger!
But that sort of gap is nothing when compared to the managed futures world. The largest managed futures program, Winton (sorry BarclayHedge, we’re not counting Bridgewater) and their $28 billion AUM is 78 times (7800%) bigger than the average CTA and their AUM of $357 million. I’m sure some of those average CTAs would marvel over Winton’s per minute stats as we have with Apples’ above.
Whether Winton suffers some of the same problems Apple has (earning a profit of $13 billion in 3 months sure seems like a problem we would like to have) in terms of sales (performance) not growing as fast as it used to remains to be seen. But we’re reminded of the old saying – the bigger they are, the harder they fall.