Fortune Magazine
Captain's Blog

Captain's Blog, Stardate 10/24/07

The countdown to Fortune's Global Forum in New Delhi begins, while the future looks awfully bright for the PC business -- and Intel, reports Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer.

By Andy Serwer, Fortune managing editor

(Fortune) -- Next Stop New Delhi!: So I'm winging off to India on Friday to attend the Fortune Global Forum there. It's an amazing confab of public and private sector leaders. It's so great we¹re having it India this time around, because this country is such an economic hotspot and a crossroads right now. Just ask Google (Charts, Fortune 500). Or Cisco (Charts, Fortune 500). Or IBM (Charts, Fortune 500). We already got some cool stuff up on our Global Forum site. So ya'll go there, hear? And treat yourself to a nice dinner at an Indian restaurant while you're at it!

Apple and Goldman, a Tale of Two Stocks: So Apple (Charts, Fortune 500) earnings blows 'em away, right? Doesn't surprise me. Just go to a store! Or look at kids on a college campus. All adorned with Apple product like so much modern day bling!

Let's look at the numbers here for second though, shall we? Apple is positively off the hook. Stock was up almost $12 on Tuesday to $186 and its market cap is now $162 billion (bigger than Intel and closing in on GOOG!) AAPL sports a trailing P/E of 52. As for net income available to common shareholders, that checks in at $3.1 billion (again trailing 12 months.) Now let's look at Goldman (Charts, Fortune 500). GS had a nice day too. Stock was up $1.50 to nearly $224, but its market cap is just under $89 billion. And it has a P/E of nine (trailing.)

What about net income available to common shareholders? In Goldman's case it's over $11.3 billion. GS's book value is $90 per share, Apple's is $15. Is Goldman cheaper than Apple? By some measures, yes. But Apple is growing faster. One stock carries the halo of the greatest consumer technology innovator on the planet. The other is shadowed by the pall of all things dreary and untoward on Wall Street. My bet? Over the next two years say, GS outpaces AAPL. But never bet against a mania.

PC Facts: Had lunch with Intel (Charts, Fortune 500) CEO Paul Otellini today. Paul's a measured dude, right? But he looks comfortable these days I think. And why not?Company has come back nicely. Got some growth engines there (Apple [mutually beneficial], Third World, WiMax, handhelds...) Not without risk, but you can see it.

So I was talking with some Intel folk who were with Paul about PC pricing. Some interesting stuff I thought. They looked at historical pricing of PCs, and it seems like that a pretty good price point for machines has been 1/17th of an average U.S. household income. Apply this to the globe in 2002 at a $200 price point (which is what the cheapest boxes cost overseas) and you get 400 million households. Today this guy was telling me if you did the math you would get 1.8 billion households! In other words, $200 is 1/17th of household income for 1.8 billion households. Opportunity knocks....

Global Secret Organizations: Check out this list I came up with. Please feel free to add to it. Interesting to think of the common characteristics: Freemasons. Hells Angels (and Bandidos etc too.). The CIA (and Mossad etc). Opus Dei. La Cosa Nostra. Tong, also Hui. (These dudes are SERIOUS, right? No Tee Hees for these guys, right? Call Jackie Chan!) Skull and Bones. Bohemian Grove (latter two are more national.) Actually if you go to Wiki and look under secret organizations, there are dozens of VERY strange ones! Again, what do they have in common?!?!?!?

Loose Change: Are you familiar with Rushworth Kidder's books on ethics? He is the founder of the Institute for Global Ethics. Check out "How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living." Also, "Moral Courage, Taking Action When Your Values Are Put To The Test." Believe me, it is all good stuff!!!.....I'm sorry I am just more in awe of Ryan Adams every day. You are a genius Dude!!!!.......This is waaaaaay to late for baseball........The Patriots, the Red Sox, BC, the Celtics!!!! Next thing you know the Bruins will be good again!! (Bring back Derek "Turk" Sanderson!)...Did you know that Brazil has 15 cities of a million or more? The U.S. has nine...Check this bad boy out: Top of page