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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Monster (NASDAQ:MNST): Could any two companies be more different? Unless you're guzzling Monster while surfing the web on your iPad, there's very little to tie the two together.

Volume - volume - everywhere: Each sold 160 million units in 2011

Yet, the two share one remarkable characteristic: They sold the same number of units in 2011. Each company moved 160 million units - 160 million cases of energy drinks and 160 million iProducts in 2011. And that's not all. They share similar growth patterns: Hypercaffeinated sales. Monster's monster volume parallels Apple's. Simply, the world can't get enough of Monster or Apple products.

Last quarter, volume at Monster and Apple ramped up:

Where they differ: Unit Profitability

Monster has steadily improved its unit profit, reaching $2.84 a case last quarter (2008 and 2009 were aberrations owing to one-time costs terminating a distributor.) Improving earnings come depite losing money on overseas sales.

In sharp contrast, Apple's unit profits have skyrocketed along with volume growth. That's despite selling new products into new markets.

(Unit profit = operating income/units sold)

Apple unit profits have been on a tear.

Monster has been increasing unit sales at a monster clip. The money the company earns on each case is good - it's just not in Apple's league. Then again, no other company is quite in Apple's league.

Disclosure: I am long AAPL.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this document are for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the stocks mentioned. Past performance of the companies discussed may not continue and the companies may not achieve the earnings growth as predicted. The information in this document is believed to be accurate, but under no circumstances should a person act upon the information contained within. We do not recommend that anyone act upon any investment information without first consulting an investment advisor as to the suitability of such investments for his specific situation.

Source: The 160 Million Unit Club: Monster Beverage Corp. Vs. Apple