Apple Inc. reported record quarterly earnings for the end of 2011 in what was one of the most profitable quarters for any corporation ever in the history of mankind. In three months Apple created more than $13 billion of wealth, more than double the profits compared to the prior year. This was more than the profits of Microsoft, Intel, Google, and Yahoo combined.
The behemoth Exxon Mobil Corp. had previously earned $14.8 billion in one quarter in 2008, but that was on revenues of $140 billion, or a return on sales of about 10%. In contrast, Apple earned $13 billion in net income on sales of just $46 billion, or an astonishing return on sales of 28%. As you might expect, the shareholders who legally own this corporation were ecstatic, and the stock price increased more than 8% in one day.
Apple is now twice as large (as measured by market capitalization) as Wal-Mart, five times larger than Amazon, and 10 times larger than eBay. In fact, Apple’s revenue was greater than the entire gross domestic product of the country of Bulgaria… and more than 100 other countries around the world.
Should there be an investigation at this point? Should the executives of Apple be accused of greed and forced to pay higher taxes? Should price controls be slapped on iPhones and iPads? I am confident, gentle reader, that some might think so.
I would rather celebrate this marvelous success. Apple Inc. makes products that makes many people happy and more productive — 37 million with iPhones and 15 million with iPads in the last three months. Of course, this productivity is offset somewhat by 6.8 million downloads of Angry Birds on Christmas Day alone.
Since the Creation Mandate (Genesis 1:27) is to fill the earth and subdue it — make it useful for human beings — it appears that millions of people demonstrate that Apple is carrying this out when they voluntarily give this corporation billions of dollars. In fact, Apple now has $98 billion in cash which proves its proficiency in subduing the creation.
What were you doing in the last three months in obedience to the Creation Mandate? In a future post we will address ways that every individual can be obedient to God in unique ways.