Personal Finance

Apple, shareholders hoping for another slice of opportunity

Oh, Apple. You’ve mastered the art of hype, the science of incremental innovation and the business of the replacement cycle. Can you do it again?

On Wednesday Apple will hold one of those kinds of media-marketing-customer-shareholder events that only it can pull off.

Presumably, the world’s most valuable publicly traded company will unveil new versions of its iPhone and Apple Watch. Faster, bigger and more are the expectations by Apple devotees.

And that’s what shareholders want, too. Damn a slow global economy!

Apple stock has lagged the broader S&P 500 stock index so far this year, but there is no argument that long-term Apple shareholders have seen the value of their stock exponentially increase. It’s up almost 1,000 percent in the past decade, turning $100 into $1,000.

You may be an Android device user, but if you own a stock mutual fund in an IRA or 401k, or have a pension found that owns stock, you likely can count yourself an Apple shareholder. Hundreds of mutual funds representing billions of dollars from millions of Americans own Apple stock.

The Americas represents the biggest slice of Apple’s sales, but it’s not as dominate as it used to be. China now is responsible for a quarter of the company’s revenues. Combined with Japan and the rest of Asia, Apple sells almost as much stuff on that continent as it does in this hemisphere.

And that brings us back to the event in San Francisco in the week ahead.

The company may be battling a $14.6 billion tax bill in Ireland, a slowing Chinese economy and incredibly high consumer expectations, but in that auditorium on Wednesday, Apple hopes to be selling the most American of products – opportunity.