Apple and Microsoft’s Strongest Year

Two of the biggest names in the tech sector wrapped up 2019 with the strongest financial year of the past 10 years, as Apple and Microsoft both saw massive gains this decade.

Jan. 2, 2020

The decade between 2010-2020 will no doubt go down as a defining era for the tech sector, which saw massive gains across the board, especially among two of its biggest members: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

Microsoft’s biggest year

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been at the helm of the tech giant for the majority of the last decade, so much credit must be given to his performance. Microsoft’s stock price was up 417% for the past 10 years, with 2019 coming in as its most impressive year with gains of 55.3%. 

The gain is nowhere near the strides the company made back in the 1990s, which fell short of 10,000% following the release of ‘Windows 95’, but it easily outshone its performance in the 2000s. 

Another impressive stat for Microsoft from 2019 is the fact that it attributed about 7% of the S&P 500’s index gains, second only to Apple. 

With Microsoft’s Azure’ cloud segment taking on Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) cloud division, Microsoft ‘Teams’ outpacing Slack (NYSE: WORK), and the unveiling of the company’s important Xbox segment this year, Microsoft has a lot in store going into the new decade, having already been among the top stocks of the last decade.

Apple was the Dow’s best stock

The biggest brand in the world may be experiencing a dip in iPhone sales, but Apple is still coming up with new products such as its original content streaming platform, Apple TV+, banking on subscription services, and is even rumored to be working on a secret satellite project.

By the end of the year, Apple’s share price had gained 85% in 2019, topping the Dow index and easily surpassing the Dow’s average 22% return. 

One noticeable metric that Apple ended the decade with was its trailing price-to-earnings ratio, which also steadily climbed this year. Despite opening the year with a P/E ratio of just over 13, it closed at 24.7 — well over its five-year average of 16.2, and its highest point since 2010. 

“Not only did near-term iPhone 11 expectations improve, investors began to look forward to the 5G 2020 iPhone cycle, which is expected to be a supercycle,” claimed Deutsche Bank analyst Jeriel Ong. 

It looks set to be another rollercoaster year at Apple as the company expands its ever-growing subscription empire, so let’s wait and see what it has in store.

MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently hold long positions in Virgin Galactic, Apple and Microsoft. Read our full disclosure policy here