You can be forgiven for thinking this already happened but Apple (AAPL) has officially surpassed Coca-Cola (KO) as the world's top brand, at least according to Interbrand. It's the first time in the 14-year history of Interbrand (a creator and manager of brands) that Coca-Cola has not been in the top spot. The beverage maker actually fell to third behind Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM) and Microsoft (MSFT) round out the top five.
In other Apple faux-news, CEO Tim Cook is rumored to be meeting with activist investor Carl Icahn in Manhattan today. Icahn revealed a position in Apple shares in a Tweet from his @Carl_C_Icahn account. The message triggered a more than $22 billion market cap increase for Apple. If a tweet is worth $150 million per keystroke one can only imagine the value of a lunch between Icahn and Cook.
Hedge fund manager Simon Baker of Baker Ave Asset Management expects Cook and Carl to have a pleasant lunch but doesn't think there will be much in the way of fundamental developments. "I think it's really good PR for Tim Cook that he's really listening to someone," Baker says in the attached clip. There isn't likely to be much beyond a nice chat and perhaps a cup of coffee.
As far as matters other than artificial rankings and Tim Cook lunch plans, Baker likes shares of Apple about as he has in his prior visits to Breakout. Even with all the buybacks and dividends Apple is sitting on a ton of money and more is coming in every day. The iPhone 5s was a big winner and there are expectations for a new iPad Mini in the works but Apple needs to keep the ideas cranking out if the shares are to break above resistance at $500.
Having a top reputation hasn't meant great things for investors in any of the top five members of the Interbrand ratings. Of Coca-Cola, Apple, Google, IBM and Microsoft, only Google has outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) over the last year. Maybe it's better to have some room for improvement in terms of reputation for investors.
"To be among those names is fantastic," notes Baker, but the bigger question for shareholders is what Apple is going to do to get shares back up over old highs over $700 a share.
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