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What Would One Share Buy?

As Christmas fast approaches, one potential gift idea could be stock in a particular company. But how much of that company's product could be purchased with just one share of its stock?  Here's a

As Christmas fast approaches, one potential gift idea could be stock in a particular company. But how much of that company’s product could be purchased with just one share of its stock?  Here’s a closer look:

Apple (AAPL)

Any investor interested in buying Apple stock might find themselves getting sticker shock after seeing that Apple’s shares are currently trading at just short of $400 per share. But then again, customers of Apple have probably gotten pretty used to sticker shock over the years. Anyone interested in purchasing the new iPhone 4S (without a contract) at their local Best Buy (BBY) will end up dropping $700 for the privilege.

That price will fall to $300 for anyone purchasing the phone online and signing a service contact along with it, but it’s still a princely sum to pay for a phone. The iPad isn’t much better, going for $500 online, but anyone looking to get the most for that share price could get eight iPod shuffles for the price of one share.

Bank of America (BAC)

Bank of America’s shares have pushed back up over $5 apiece recently. The irony here is really hard to miss as the debit card fee that Bank of America announced last month to uninhibited vitriol from their customers was $5. When one considers a $5 share price against Bank of America’s fee structure, one might be able to buy a fairly substantial number of shares with the money spent on fees. A $35 overdraft fee could buy seven shares (though it should be noted that Bank of America has offered overdraft protection since 2010), while the monthly maintenance fee for a checking account of $12 could buy two shares and a cup of coffee.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)

At just over $80 a share, Exxon Mobil could be finding a middle ground between Apple and Bank of America. However, as anyone who’s filled up recently can tell you, one share in the world’s largest company by market cap won’t go nearly as far at the pump as it used to. With the national average for a gallon of gas approaching $3.25, one share of Exxon is good for 24.6 gallons of gas. That’s good for a bit more than one fill-up, unless you’re driving a Hummer. However, the $80 wouldn’t even get you one whole barrel of crude oil. WTI crude oil is going for close to $100 a barrel.

Ford Motor Company (F)

Shares in Ford are currently going for just over $10 a pop, so it’s unlikely that Ford offers a vehicle that could be purchased for the price of a single share (let me just check their pricing guide and…no, definitely not). However, the price of the one F-150, the most recent addition to Ford’s all-time best selling F-Series Model, would be $22,990, or one share short of $23,000. So it would take 2299 shares of Ford, or 34 shares a month, to get one of their trucks. However, anyone looking for something more eco-friendly, like say the new 2012 Fusion Hybrid, would need 2870 shares.

The Hershey Company (HSY)

Okay, lets keep it simple: chocolate bars. How many Hershey bars could one get for one share in the company that’s been making them since 1894. The price for one bar of chocolate would come to $0.56 were you to buy a pack of 36 of them online (not that you would, but for the sake of argument we’re going to run with it). So, with a share price just shy of $60, one share of Hershey would be good for 107 chocolate bars. Take that Apple! But how about the signature Hershey kiss? One five pound bag on kisses bought online (again, who buys chocolate online?!) would cost about $27. A five pound bag should contain 475 kisses, giving us a price of about $0.06 per kiss. So, one share of Hershey should be good for 1,000 Hershey kisses.

Finally, it’s worth noting that an iPhone bought with a service contract is the equivalent of 5,000 Hershey kisses so, this holiday season, stop and ask yourself whether constant connectivity is really worth THAT much.

If you don't feel that U.S. culture (and much of the world in different ways) is in turmoil, you are not paying attention.
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