Here’s How Apple Made 300 Millionaires in 1980


This week marked the thirty-third anniversary of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) initial public offering on December 12, 1980. According to EDN Network, Apple’s 4.6 million shares quickly sold out and generated more capital than any previous IPO since the Ford (NYSE:F) Motor Company in 1956. The IPO created $217 million in wealth for Steve Jobs, Apple’s largest shareholder and company cofounder.

Apple’s IPO also created about 300 other millionaires — more than any other company had ever created up until that time. As noted by EDN Network, Apple’s stock climbed by nearly 32 percent to $29 a share by the close of the trading day and left the California-based computer company with a market value of $1.778 billion. According to Apple’s Investor Relations site, the stock debuted at $22.00 per share. However, since the stock has split three times since the IPO, the split-adjusted IPO share price would actually be $2.75. Since its auspicious beginning at the start of the 1980s, Apple’s stock has recorded significant growth by the end of each decade despite occasionally also seeing precipitous declines.

For example, as noted by Apple Insider’s Daniel Eran Dilger, Apple ended the 1980s with over a 199 percent increase in its share price. The 1980s included the release of Lisa, the first personal computer with a graphical user interface. Lisa was followed by the release of the iconic Macintosh computer. On the other hand, the 1990s may have been the bleakest decade for Apple’s stock as the share price frequently dipped below the $10 mark.

However, the 1990s also included the return of Steve Jobs, followed by a controversial, but life-saving, injection of capital from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). As noted by Bloomberg, Microsoft’s $150 million investment allowed Apple to survive long enough to develop iTunes and the iPod. By the end of the 1990s, Apple had recorded over a 191 percent increase in its share price.

As noted by Apple Insider, Apple’s recovery in the following decade under the guidance of Jobs was dampened by overall tech company decline initiated by the “dotcom bust.” However, the 2000s saw the birth of the Apple Store, the iPod, the iTunes Store, and the highly successful iPhone. Thanks to these innovations, Apple’s share price increased by over 660 percent across the decade.

The 2010s saw Apple’s stock price set a record high in September of 2012 when it went above $700. Since then, the stock has drifted as low as $385.10 before beginning a fairly steady climb in July of this year. Currently, Apple’s stock is trading in the $555 range. Although it may be too early to judge Apple’s progress in the 2010s, the Cupertino-based company’s record of success across three decades would seem to indicate that Apple’s best years are still ahead of it.

Here’s how Apple has traded over the past three years.


Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)

Don’t Miss: China Mobile’s iPhone 5S Preorders Surpass 25,000 on First Day.