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The Complete History of Apple Stock (AAPL)

It is well known that Apple (AAPL ) is the largest U.S. corporation in terms of market capitalization, and among the world’s largest companies in terms of total revenues.

Not only that, but the history of Apple and its co-founder Steve Jobs have been widely covered, with numerous books, TV shows, and even a Hollywood movie about the formation of the company.

Be sure to also see The Unofficial History of Warren Buffett.

However, how much is really known about the history of Apple’s stock performance? We crunched the numbers to find out.

AAPL Key Stats

Since 1984, Apple has logged 18 positive annualized returns, while the S&P 500 has seen positive gains in 20 years in that same time frame (see annual returns chart below):

Below is Apple’s monthly share price performance. Note the adjustment for stock splits and dividend payouts:

Below is a cumulative returns chart since AAPL’s IPO, and as of December 1st 2014, shares are up over 21,000%:

Apple's Best & Worst Days

The chart below illustrates Apple’s best and worst trading days, showcasing the return of each session:

  • Apple’s worst trading session occurred on September 29, 2000, when the stock fell 51.90%.
  • Apple’s best trading session occurred on August 6, 1997, when the stock rose 33.3%.

For more insights, be sure to read about Apple’s Worst Day Ever.

Visualized another way, below take a look at the average share price movement of Apple per trading session.

Note that shares of Apple move between 1% and 5% in nearly 60% of all its trading sessions; that’s quite remarkable for a company of Apple’s size. Learn more about Who Owns Apple Inc..

Below, consider Apple’s best and worst five-day stretches in its trading history:

Across five session periods, Apple has gained as much as 67.10% and lost as much as 58.80% of its stock value. It is interesting to see how much of an impact the tech boom of the late ’90s and the eventual bursting of the tech bubble in 2000 had on these five session swings.

See also How Apple Stock Reacts to Product Releases.

A Look at Apple’s Dividend Payouts

Apple’s recent history as a dividend payer is relatively short; it only reinstated its dividend payout mid-way through 2012. However, it’s also worth noting that Apple was a dividend-paying company for a period between 1987 and 1995, the same time-frame in which Steve Jobs initially departed the company.

Below, consider Apple’s payout and yield history as of December 2014:

The Bottom Line

Investors’ fascination with Apple is understandable when you consider the monstrous returns that the company has delivered to (very) patient shareholders over the years. Given the company’s dominance in the consumer electronics space matched with a fortress-like balance sheet, it’s likely that AAPL will continue to hog financial news headlines for years to come.