This Day in Tech History

On This Day . . .

That Fruit Co.


December 12, 1980:  Apple Goes Public

Until this point, Apple was a private company. After the sale, the company was worth $10 million.

Apple’s initial public offering, sold 4.6 million shares at $22 per share and turning more than 40 Apple employees and investors into instant millionaires. Using the symbol “AAPL“, Apple shares sold out within minutes. By the end of the day, shares rose to $29. The market value became 1.8 Billion, which, in turn, made employees and investors pretty rich – Steve Jobs reports $217 Million, being the largest shareholder.


This was the largest IPO in the US since the Ford Motor Company in 1956. Man oh man, to have gotten a piece of that fruit company back then!


Forrest Gump’s Investment In Apple Would Be Worth $7 Billion Today   By Killian Bell July 16, 2012

In the 1994 Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, there’s a short scene in which Tom Hanks’s character opens a letter of thanks from Apple after his former military colleague and business partner Lieutenant Dan invested some of the profits from the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in “some kind of fruit company.”


forrest-gump-apple-computer-letter decided it would be fun to calculate what that investment in Apple would be worth today.

How much of the shrimping profits Dan invested exactly isn’t mentioned in the movie, so a speculative amount of $100,000 is used. Given the success of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, that’s certainly a plausible figure, and it would have given the pair around a 3% stake in Apple at the time (1970s).


By 1980, that stake roughly translated into 1,476,460 shares, which would have been worth $43 million at the end of the stock’s first day of trading. When the Forrest Gump novel made its debut in 1986, that figure would have reached $46 million, and would have ballooned again to $91.5 million by the time the film was released in 1994.

That sounds like an incredible sum of money, but it’s hardly anything when you consider what Gump’s shares would be worth today.


According to Fancy Dress Costumes:

After accounting for two more stock splits in 2000 and 2005, Forrest & Lieutenant Dan’s holding now stands at 11,811,680 shares. As of today, 2nd July 2012, Apple is trading at $591. That means their initial investment of $100,000 back in 1978 is now worth… $6,980,702,880.

Nearly $7 billion! If only we all had a friend like Lieutenant Dan (and $100.000 to invest).

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