Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have a bigger market capitalization than Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), but that doesn’t mean it beats the search giant on every metric. If looking at it from another way, Google is actually more valuable than Apple.
Google versus Apple in EV
Seeking Alpha contributor Ashraf Eassa noted this on Thursday. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has a market capitalization of around $400 billion, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a market cap of around $480 billion. However, Apple is sitting on a whole lot more cash than Google is, with $141 billion in net cash. Google has just $58 billion. This means that on an enterprise value basis, Google is worth about $342 billion, while Apple is worth around $339 billion.
His calculations suggest that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is pretty expensive right now, trading at 30 times enterprise value to free cash flow. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), on the other hand, looks pretty cheap at only 7.7 times enterprise value to free cash flow.
Google seems safer than Apple
The author recommends that investors short Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and go long on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), although he notes that they certainly aren’t in the same industry. Wall Street tends to see Google’s business as being safer and more stable than Apple’s hardware-based business. However, there’s no denying that Apple is king as far as cash flow goes.
From the current trading values on the two companies, it seems clear that Wall Street expects to see Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s cash flow grow immensely while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s eventually craters because of competitive pressures.
Apple still has opportunities for growth
Then he enters in to the discussion of the growth opportunities which Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be able to capitalize on. Like many others, he thinks Apple could get into the smart devices game like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) did when it bought smart thermostat maker Nest. He sees the possibility of “iOS and potential derivatives” being used in numerous new device categories which “investors haven’t even yet begun to appreciate.”
He also argues for market share expansion with a larger iPhone and suggests Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might even develop its own search engine to compete with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) on its home turf. He said that with as much extra cash as Apple has, the possibilities for what it could do are endless.
Of course what Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could do and will do are probably two different things.