Apple is dying — but there’s a way to save it
Tom Brammar

Before turning the reigns of Apple over to Elon, perhaps it would be a good idea to examine his two companies, Tesla and SpaceX, more closely.

One look at Tesla’s stock performance history says enough. At today’s closing, TSLA is still $20 off its all-time highs of approximately $280 reached in 2014 and 2015. How many quarters, never mind annually, has Tesla been profitable? What has been the return to investors?

SpaceX, as a private company, does not release its financial numbers. Fortunately, for the purposes of this discussion reporters from the Wall Street Journal were able to get their hands on SpaceX internal financial reports covering 2011–2015. Those numbers aren’t pretty. The best year SpaceX had was 2011 — 6 years ago — when it earned an approximate 20% profit on gross. In 2012–2014 annual profits dropped to approximately 3–5% of gross. For 2015 SpaceX was in the red because of the CRS-7 explosion. One can speculate that 2016, given the results of 2015, was another loss due to the pad explosion on 9/1/2016.

Elon Musk is absolutely a visionary technology leader. What has yet to be determined is whether his visions can be executed profitably.

Your point that Apple is bleeding it’s cash built-up during Jobs’ tenure is incorrect. 2011 Cash and Securities was $76.2B; currently that number is around $238B, a nearly $161B, or a 211%, gain. Nearly every company on this planets wishes it were “bleeding” cash like that.

Apple needs vision — every company does. But Apple today under Tim Cook is doing what neither Tesla nor SpaceX are doing; innovating while making and banking substantial profits and offering positive returns for investors.

Actually, looking at this, I think one could make the case that Tesla and SpaceX need someone like Tim Cook.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Jim Hillhouse’s story.