Start the conversation
The Apple stock history reflects the remarkable journey this tech giant has had.
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has one of the most compelling stories in Silicon Valley. Its return from near-death in the late 1990s under the leadership of tech icon Steve Jobs is the stuff of legend.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple had humble beginnings. Jobs sold his Volkswagen AG (OTCMKTS ADR: VLKAY) van and partner Steve Wozniak sold his programmable calculator to raise $1,350, and Jobs also took out a three-month, $5,000 loan.
That was enough capital to fulfill the company's first order for 50 Apple I computers at $500 each.
Since then, the company has gone from a market leader to irrelevance to the dominant tech titan it is today. And AAPL shareholders have been along for the ride.
Through its resurgence, Apple has become much, much bigger than it ever was in the 1980s. It pulls in almost unthinkable profits, earning more net income in a quarter than most companies make in revenue.
The introduction of the iPhone was the turning point. In the decade following the iPhone's debut, Apple stock soared 724%.
And the deeper you go into Apple stock history, the crazier the numbers get.
"Some Kind of Fruit Company"
In the movie it's revealed that Lt. Dan had invested a portion of the profits from the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in "some kind of fruit company."
Back in 2019 Cult of Mac took a stab at figuring out just how much the pair's stake in Apple would be worth. They had to make an assumption for the initial amount invested, which they pegged at $100,000.
And since the letter in the movie was dated 1975 – five years before the IPO – it's assumed that the sum was invested as venture capital.
As of the Apple IPO in 1980, they'd have owned 1,476,460 shares – worth a cool $43 million after the first day of trading.
But as of August 31, 2020, after the fifth Apple stock split, Gump and Lt. Dan would have owned 330,727,040 shares valued at about $42.68 billion. That's assuming they never sold any along the way, of course. Not a bad return on a $100,000 investment.
Now here's the full Apple stock history timeline…
An Apple Stock History Timeline: The 1980s
Dec. 12, 1980: The IPO
Apple sold 4.6 million shares to public. AAPL stock was priced at $22 a share for its IPO. Because of the five stock splits (as of 2020) the adjusted IPO price is just $0.10 (that's a direct comparison to the current AAPL stock price). By the end of the first day, shares had soared 32% to $29 (or $0.13, split-adjusted).
Jan. 28, 1984: The Mac Debuts
Apple built its reputation with the Apple II line, but the Mac showed the way to the future. At the time, many ridiculed the use of a mouse and icons to control a computer. With Mac sales slow to ramp up, the Apple II provided the bulk of company profits for the balance of the decade.
Split-adjusted AAPL stock price: $0.09
May 24, 1985: Steve Jobs Ousted
Jobs' attempt to push out CEO John Sculley backfired when the Apple board backed Sculley. Stripped of any power and consigned to a remote office, Jobs officially resigned five months later.
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.