Remember When Dell Was Worth More Than Apple?

What a difference a few years makes. Remember when the Mac maker was beleaguered? You don’t hear that kind of talk anymore. If anyone is beleaguered these days, it’s Dell, the Windows PC maker.

Dell founder and CEO will remain infamous for saying that Apple should give money back to shareholders and close down. Maybe Dr. Dell should take his own advice. According to those great folks at MacDailyNews and their spot on record for remembering crap people say, Apple is worth 17 times Dell’s market value.

Not double. Not triple. Not even 10 times. But 17 times more valuable than Dell’s Dell.

Listen. Can you hear it? Steve Jobs is laughing from the grave.

Back in 2006 Apple and Dell were valued about the same, just over $70-billion in market cap. Dell has languished while Apple has prospered. The iPhone, iPad, Mac maker is now worth about $550-billion.

Here’s a look at Dell’s stock performance since 2005.

Dell Stock Performance since 2005

Now, check out Apple’s stock performance over the same period.

Apple Stock Performance

Wow. A picture that tells more than a thousand words.

Apple is debt free and has about $100-billion in cash (about three times what Dell is worth). How did this happen?

Dell quit. Michael Dell walked away from Dell and left the company to squander market share and profit, rather than sticking around to innovate and grow value. By the time Dell came back it was too late.

The lesson here should be simple. A race to the bottom (sell the cheapest possible products) is always an easy journey, but it still ends at the bottom.

I made up that phrase. Good, huh?