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TheStreet Open House

Is Apple a Value Stock or Growth Stock?

Stocks in this article: AAPLBBRYNOKGOOGDELL

To those that say "don't buy Apple, the margins may fall," I reply with a firm "OK, what offers better profit margins?" A sound of crickets in the background is the only sound heard after asking that straightforward question. I can follow up with "OK, what company offers greater profits than Apple?" (cue up the crickets again). The fact is until Apple is not producing better than everyone else, they are the leaders.

If you read the book "Jack, Straight From the Gut" like I have, you know that you want to own the leaders in any given space. In other words, if you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes.

Or as Jack put it and I am paraphrasing, "When the lead company in a space catches a cold, the second and third tier companies catch pneumonia (cue up RIM, Motorola (MSI), Hewlett-Packard CoName (HPQ) , Dell (DELL) and Nokia (NOK) for your viewing pleasure).

Apple has fallen so far that it has now also become cheap, which is why you're reading about Apple as a value play.

Compared to its peers, Apple is cheap. I'm not a big fan of removing cash and calculating the price to earnings multiple, but since that metric is used so often, I thought you may want to see what it actually looks like against others.

AAPL Price to Earnings Less Cash TTM Chart AAPL Price to Earnings Less Cash TTM data by YCharts

I don't believe it's a fair comparison to include Dell but I wanted to demonstrate how far one must reach to find another tech company with a P/E less cash metric cheaper than Apple. It's not fair because Apple's total size is more than 10 times greater than Dell.

What do I believe is in store for Apple? I believe Apple, one of the most talked about companies in the world, is about to become "discovered again" before the end of 2013. Apple will use its war chest of cash and buy shares, and buy a lot. That will just get the engine running.

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