Apple employees are more profitable than employees of Google, Microsoft and Intel - and several other major technology brands for that matter, according to a report.

Web metrics firm Pingdom, sourcing its data from Yahoo Finance, worked out that Apple earned a profit of $419,528 (£258,885) per employee in the past 12 months.

"One reason (of several) that profit per employee is such an interesting metric is because it gives you a number that doesn't depend so much on the size of the company. In other words, it becomes easy to compare companies of different sizes," Pingdom writes on its blog.

Google employees were worth $336,297 (£207,469) to their bosses; Microsoft staff $244,831 (£151,041) per head; Intel bods had a value of $130,267 (£80,364) each and Cisco's workers made their company $107,214 (£66,145) a pop over the last year.

However, go back a couple of years and things looked somewhat different. Google ($209,624) and Microsoft ($194,297) were both ahead of Apple ($151,063).

"In 2008, Google was leading this list, but now Apple has surpassed it by quite some margin. This isn't because it's not going well for Google, but rather because it's going spectacular for Apple," Pingdom wrote.

In terms of number of employees, Apple has 46,600 in 2011 compared to 32,000 in 2008. Microsoft had 91,000 in 2008 and now has 2,000 fewer, whereas Google has expanded from 20,164 to 26,316.

However, if you are considering making any investments based on Pingdom's report, do read the disclaimer:

"Keep in mind that we here at Pingdom are techies, not financial analysts. If you make investments based on this article and end up losing money, don't blame us."