Don't cry for Apple (AAPL). Even though the Cupertino icon saw its stock price plummet last year from more than $700 a share to $532 on New Year's Eve, there's still plenty of cause for celebration at One Infinite Loop.
Even though its market cap fell by 26 percent in 2012, Apple still rules the roost of both the consumer tech sector and the overall SV 150, thanks to its yearly sales of nearly $165 billion and profits of almost $42 billion, up nearly 27 percent from 2011.
Despite growing competition from rivals like Samsung and Google (GOOG), Apple enjoyed phenomenal sales of its iPhone 5, its fourth-generation iPad, and the new iPad mini, contributing to a profit margin of 25 percent, whisker-close to the 26 percent a year earlier.
Among the 10 companies in the consumer tech group, Apple remains in a league of its own, with a mind-boggling $415.6-billion market cap that's larger than all the other companies' values combined. And while eBay (EBAY) made impressive sales gains to jump from 7th to second place on the list, Apple's profits still constituted the lion's share of the sector's overall income of just over $47 billion.
Ranked by sales, Apple kept the top spot in the SV 150 for the second year in a row, leaving second-place Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) in the dust with its $118 billion in annual sales. And underscoring the importance of the sector -- and Apple in particular -- to the Bay Area's economy, consumer tech's $196 billion sales figure represented 29 percent of the sales of all 150 companies on the list.
Still, says analyst Joel Achramowicz with Merriman Capital, Apple's dazzling performance last year was in many ways a legacy of co-founder Steve Jobs.
"I'm waiting for Tim Cook to put his individual stamp on the direction of the company, which we haven't seen yet,'' says Achramowicz. "If he does come out with some exciting new products then he will have done an amazing job of putting his own stamp on Apple. That's a daunting task, but he has to do it.''
Contact Patrick May at 408-920-5689 or follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc