In contrast to Rao’s perspective is James’ focus on stock price. In the world of investing, stock price is arguably the best proxy for public opinion on a company. The higher the price investors are willing to pay, the more confident they are in the future of the business.

 

By this measure, Apple’s peak was quite recent: early 2015. The company had just recorded record sales during the 2014 holiday quarter, smashing analysts’ expectations with 74.5 million iPhones sold in just three months. That was nearly 50 percent more than the 2013 holiday quarter, which had also been a record.

Proponents of this perspective will point out that Apple’s stock price has more than doubled since Jobs’ death.

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