As of this writing, Google is more valuable than Apple. But there are buts, lots of buts. The current zeitgeist has Google on the rise and Apple ready to fall, yet the questions of value and the future remain very much open to interpretation — Google beats Apple, really?

Yes, Apple is still the world’s richest and, frankly, most powerful tech company. However, if you squint your eyes just right, Google is more valuable.

That is, Google’s market capitalization of $400 billion less the company’s cash of $58 billion yields an enterprise value (EV) of $342 billion. Apple’s $480 billion market cap less its $141 billion in cash yields a enterprise value (EV) of $339 billion.

Google beats Apple? Meh, not really, not even close.

Apple trades at 7.7 times its EV/FCF. Google trades at 30 times its EV/FCF, a massive multiple.

Google Beats Apple Not

More perspective? Apple’s iTunes business unit revenue alone is roughly half of Google’s revenue for its entire business. Further, iTunes as a stand alone business would earn the 130 spot on the Fortune 500.

Overall, Apple’s revenues are nearly four times higher than Google’s. So, Google beats Apple not (yet).

Apple Beats Microsoft

Again, if you squint your eyes just right, Apple beats Microsoft in terms of computer unit volume. That is, of course, if you count iPhones as computers. Counting Windows Phone devices as computers puts the companies into a virtual dead heat. A joke? Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella isn’t laughing…

However, the thing with Apple is that the company has been and continues to be a cash machine. Google doesn’t come close and likely won’t for years.

Yet, while Apple is still killing it vis-a-vis revenue and profit, Wall Street values searchzilla’s future prospects more highly and, in their money fevered minds, Google beats Apple. No accounting for taste…

What’s your take?

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