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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 now pulls in almost unthinkable profits. AAPL earned more income in its December quarter than any company in history.
So it's not shocking that Apple stock is up 49% over the past 12 months, 97% over the past two years, and 273% over the past five years.
But the deeper you go into the 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."
Other folks with way too much time on their hands have estimated the profits at $140,000. 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, that translates to 2,604,804 shares, worth $75.5 million after the first day of trading.
But today, after four stock splits, the Gump/Taylor stake would be worth about $18.38 billion. That's a tidy return of 13,128,100% on the original $140,000, and a still-respectable 32,050% increase from the IPO price.
Now here's the full Apple stock history timeline…
An Apple Stock History: 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 four stock splits, the adjusted IPO price is just $0.39 (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 $0.51, 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.
AAPL stock price: $26.13 (historic), $0.40 (adjusted)
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.