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What Apple Can Learn From Fallen Tech Giants
10 Apr 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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Apple looks to be unstoppable.

Tuesday, it became the second company ever to cross $600 billion in market cap. Microsoft did it back in 1999. Apple did it just six weeks after passing $500 billion.

“Apple will stay successful if it keeps its values in check — being innovative, thinking big, challenging the status quo — and doesn’t let its market cap go to its head,” Jonathan Rettinger, TechnoBuffalo president, told CNBC’s “Street Signs.”

But investors need to look no further than the tech graveyard of once-dominant companies as a warning of just how far and how fast the giants can fall from grace.

Take Yahoo. Its stock is down more than 80 percent from all-time highs at the end of 1999. Tuesday, the company held an all-hands-on-deck staff meeting, following the layoffs of 2,000 employees last week.

Shares of Sony are also down more than 80 percent from all-time highs in March of 2000. The company says it will likely report a record $6.4 billion loss for the just-ended fiscal year. That’s double earlier forecasts. The news comes a day after reports that it plans to cut 10,000 jobs, or 6 percent of its global workforce.

“Sony has had some bad quarters,” said Rettinger, but added that the company has a history of reinventing itself. Sony’s new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, is expected to talk more about his turnaround plans on Thursday.

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