updated 11:45 am EST, Fri February 6, 2009
Apple in fastest-growers
Apple has joined a Forbes list of the 25 fastest-growing US technology corporations. The magazine notes that Apple is one of 13 new companies on its list, which for the third time in a row has seen over half of its constituents replaced. The placement is believed to be particularly remarkable as while the company has reached $32 billion in annual revenue, its growth is said to be closer to that of a start-up, measured at 40 percent annualized over the course of the last five years.
Thomson IBES analysts say they expect growth to drop to 20 percent over the next three to five years, but Apple is also said to be delivering consistently better annualized return to shareholders, valued at 24.6 percent better than the S&P 500 since Steve Jobs returned to serve as CEO in 1996. The major worry is currently the health of Jobs, who has taken a leave of absence from the company due to a self-described "hormonal imbalance."
Some have speculated that the condition is worse than Jobs will admit, and may thus force the executive to resign permanently. Jobs is known for personally guiding the direction of many efforts at Apple, as well as drawing publicity; without him, the company may risk losing media hype and successful strategies. The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a probe into whether Apple has been forthcoming with Jobs' medical state.