Apple vs Tesla shares

We compare the price performance, dividends and business models behind two of the biggest companies on Wall Street.

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Tesla (TSLA) and Apple (AAPL) appear on the outside to be relatively different companies, but they have more in common than you might think.

Aside from each revolutionising their respective industries, the two stocks have the distinction of being among the 10 biggest listed companies in the US by market cap. In 2020, Apple overtook Microsoft to become the largest company on Wall Street with a market cap of US$2.2 trillion. Tesla has also seen immense stock market success in recent years, surging by over 1000% in the last five years and admitted to the prestigious S&P 500 stock index in late 2020.

If you're thinking about investing in either Tesla or Apple, check out the table below to compare performance history, business models and key financial data specifically chosen to help you decide which stock is a buy.

Apple vs Tesla compared

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Note: This chart doesn't yet take into account stock splits, but we're working on it!

Note: This chart doesn't yet take into account stock splits, but we're working on it!

Business modelApple Inc. is an American-global technology company that designs and sells consumer electronics and software. Apple's strategy is to bring users into its software and hardware eco system and keep them there. It designs and develops computer electronics such as laptops, desktop systems and mobile phones.

Tesla is an American electric vehicle manufacturer based in California. Its products include electric cars, battery storage options and solar panels. Tesla's goal is to build an affordable electric car with mass appeal along with zero emission power generation.

FoundedFounded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve WozniakFounded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning
Market capUS$2.24 trillionUS$607 billion
12-month performance+86% (to 23 December 2020)+664% (to 23 December 2020)
1-month performance13% (to 23 December 2020)+30% (to 23 December 2020)
12-month revenueUS$274.5 billionUS$28.2 billion
Gross profitUS$105 billion (annual)US$4.1 billion (annual)
Price to earnings ratio (P/E)Apple has a P/E ratio of 40.3018.
  • As this is higher than the trailing 12-month P/E ratio of 27.29 for the NASDAQ 100 (at the end of 2019), it indicates the stock is overpriced or that investors are confident about the company's outlook.
Tesla has a P/E ratio of 1,209.
  • As this is significantly higher than the trailing 12-month P/E ratio of 27.29 for the NASDAQ 100 (at the end of 2019), it indicates the stock is overpriced or that investors are extremely confident about the company's future prospects.
Debt-to-equity ratio1.870.95
DividendsApple last paid $0.205 per share on November 20, 2020Tesla has never paid a dividend
Ethical rank (the low the better)Apple has an S&P Global ESG Score of 29/100, indicating fairly high ethical practicesTesla has an S&P Global ESG Score of 17/100, indicating high ethical practices
Risk levelApple has a beta of 1.2976 (as of December 23, 2020) which suggests Apple shares are more volatile than the average stock listed on NASDAQ, where the standard beta is 1.Tesla has a beta of 2.152 (as of December 23, 2020) which suggests Tesla shares are at least twice as volatile as the average stock listed on NASDAQ, where the standard beta is 1.
Technical analysis

This is not a recommendation. It represents a technical analysis based on popular technical indicators: Moving Averages, Oscillators and Pivots. Finder might not concur and takes no responsibility.

This is not a recommendation. It represents a technical analysis based on popular technical indicators: Moving Averages, Oscillators and Pivots. Finder might not concur and takes no responsibility.

  • Market leader in consumer computer electrics and cloud technology
  • Global brand awareness
  • Innovative and cutting edge technology
  • Pays a dividend and has been profitable for many years
  • Globally recognised company
  • Market leader in electronic vehicle design and production
  • Electric battery storage expected to become more important over time
  • Stock price up over 1300% in the last five years (to December 23, 2020)
  • Apple stock is more volatile than the average technology company listed in the United States
  • It has received criticism over unethical labour and business practices, including anti-competitive behaviour.
  • It has a high price to earnings ratio, suggesting the stock could be expensive
  • Stock price volatility is significantly higher than the average stock
  • Elon Musk's erratic behaviour has a direct impact on the company's stock price
  • Price to earnings ratio is far higher than the average automobile manufacturer on the US market suggesting Tesla stock is very expensive
  • It only reported an annual profit for the first time in January 2020

Debt to equity ratio: Compares a company's level of debt to its amount of shareholder equity. Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the more leveraged a company is, although this ratio will differ broadly across sectors.

Price-earnings ratio: The relative value of a company's stock price to its recent profit results, i.e. the price investors are paying for every dollar of profit the company makes. A high P/E ratio might indicate investors expect growth to occur in the future and are willing to pay more for it, or it can also indicate the stock is overpriced.

In summary


  • Apple and Tesla are among the biggest companies in the world by market captalisation and sit within the top 10 list in the United States.
  • Both companies rely on innovation and consumer-centric technology that offers mass appeal.
  • In direct competition with Tesla, Apple recently announced it planned to release an electric vehicle boasting a new type of battery by 2024.
  • Both companies are led by world-famous entrepreneurs.
  • Apple and Tesla have both been successful in revolutionising their industries.

How to buy shares in Tesla and Apple

To buy shares in a US-listed stock from Australia, you'll need to be registered with a stockbroker that provides access to the US market.

The cheapest option is to sign up with an online share trading platform. If you're new to the stock market, look for a broker with a low commission (brokerage fee) and low currency conversion (FX) fee. You can use the table below to compare brokers that offer stocks in Tesla and Apple.

Name Product Standard brokerage for US shares Currency conversion fee Markets
eToro (global stocks)
50 pips (US$0.50 for every AU$100 exchanged)
Global shares, US shares, ETFs
Zero brokerage share trading on US, Hong Kong and European stocks with trades as low as $50.
Note: This broker offers CFDs which are volatile investment products and most clients lose money trading CFDs with this provider.
Join the world’s biggest social trading network when you trade stocks, commodities and currencies from the one account.
IG Share Trading
ASX shares, Global shares
$0 brokerage for US and global shares plus get an active trader discount of $5 commission on Australian shares.
Enjoy some of the lowest brokerage fees on the market when trading Australian shares, international shares, plus get access to 24-hour customer support.
Superhero share trading
50 pips (US$0.50 for every AU$100 exchanged)
ASX shares, US shares, ETFs
Earn up to 15,000 Qantas frequent flyer points when you transfer an exisiting balance or trade. Offer valid for all new and existing Superhero members until 28 February.
Pay zero brokerage on US stocks and all ETFs and just $5 (flat fee) to trade Australian shares from your mobile or desktop.
Saxo Capital Markets (Classic account)
ASX shares, Global shares, ETFs
Access 19,000+ stocks on 40+ exchanges worldwide
Low fees for Australian and global share trading, no inactivity fees, low currency conversion fee and optimised for mobile.
SelfWealth (Basic account)
ASX shares, US shares
Trade ASX and US shares for a flat fee of $9.50, regardless of the trade size.
New customers receive free access to Community Insights with SelfWealth Premium for the first 90 days. Follow other investors and benchmark your portfolio performance.

Compare up to 4 providers

Important: Share trading can be financially risky and the value of your investment can go down as well as up. “Standard brokerage” fee is the cost to trade $1,000 or less of ASX-listed shares and ETFs without any qualifications or special eligibility. If ASX shares aren’t available, the fee shown is for US shares. Where both CHESS sponsored and custodian shares are offered, we display the cheapest option.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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