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  • Apple's Story: The Beginning Has Arrived [View article]
    Well done. The Ecosystem is deeply undervalued as is the company. With the strongest brand globally, whatever new product they launch next will succeed. Their evaluation process for new innovations has the highest stds unlike their competitors. Apple will continue to deliver.
    BV
    Jan 16 07:48 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • December Surprise: Apple Trounces Dell And More [View article]
    Though the IDC link provides a factually correct set of information, it is essentially a historical look just prior to the new product release(s).

    As the IDC study should be updated in January, we can expect this to show strong Apple growth in iMac, macbook air and macbook pro. The question "DURING" that qtr will then be around what is occurring in China relative to the Chinese New Year and also whether the iPhone mkt share(smartphones) has held steady at above 75% in Japan.

    As investors, we should be forward looking in addition to your reference article on the recent past as both views are valid and keep us honest with ourselves.
    Dec 9 12:29 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On Apple And Vertical Integration [View article]
    We'll done! Appreciate the time it must have taken to clearly articulate and educate on this topic.

    If Apple is going to vertically integrate it seems their US forward integration advantage should be migrated overseas. Getting closer to their customers via this forward integration (in Asia specifically) would have provided them the insight that a bigger screen was fundamentally required due to number of characters and typing ease and not just a "bigger is better" mentality.

    That said, based on the recent past results. Apple will learn & adapt and when they get it right in Asia in 2014/15 they will create legions of devoted fans their also. This expanding loyalty will translate to growing cash flows yielding the next significant stock price jump.
    Nov 20 08:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Market Has Learned From The iPad [View article]
    James,

    It does not appear you are providing a complete story with your knowledge. Specifically the MIT review you cite clearly states that the cost difference between gorilla glass and sapphire will go from essentially 1:10 today to 1:6 when the new production ramps up. Separately, as many are providing "Sapphire predictions", Mine follow:

    Today Sapphire is used on the 5S fingerprint scanner & camera lens cover. Demand outstrips supply thus Apple MUST expand production to not only meet 5S production but in the following product categories:

    1) Ipad mini (fingerprint sensor & camera).
    2) ipad Air (fingerprint sensor & camera)
    3) As apple continues to expand its product portfolio they will have an upper/upper end phone for all new released phones (4", 4.7" & 5.5") that will include sapphire for its entire front face.. These phones will cost consumers an additional $100 with a corresponding component cost adder will below $30 initially and below $10 in two years. This pricing and cost scenario will provide an initial 70% gross margin feature. Not too shabby. And oh yes, they will have exclusivity on this patented low cost production process. So... others will typically follow.. but at a higher cost.

    Thanks for your article,
    BV
    Nov 13 07:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Philip Morris: Getting Back To Basics [View article]
    Hi Bill,
    Time will tell but I believe you continue to underestimate LO... though your own charts clearly show underlying strength. Ecigs is a significantly healthier alternative to introduce nicotine... it now being equivalent to caffeine in terms of addiction and health impact. Thanks for your article(s).
    BV
    Nov 4 02:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Apple's Downside Is So Limited [View article]
    IS - I agree that Apples downside is limited but not only for the reasons above. I agree the launch performance is a huge tell on future growth and that a PE below the S&P 500 is too low, but the graph looking at US only iPhone/competitor unit gains to me seems a bit limited in scope.
    Overall, I agree with your premise and as you am an Apple bull but in addition to the two credible reasons above I might add the following:
    1) Stock buyback. (Value investors love this)
    2) Consistent and large positive cash flows. (Ecosystem with highly loyal customer base)
    3) Enhanced launch footprint. (increases time to sell product as competitor copies apple and does a quick launch=android phones).
    4) High Resale prices as a proxy for how Apple stands up against its Android competition. Many pay more for an old iPhone than a new galaxy.
    5) Decision (finally) to expand their iPhone product offerings.. Today the 5C (new lower cost construction.. price will drop significantly next launch); Tomorrow(2014) a larger screen (5x7 icons.. about 4.8").
    6) Increased distribution channels. Docomo last month and China mobile this quarter (my hypothesis is launch to occur prior to Chinese new year festivities in late January).

    Good luck to all,
    BV
    Oct 28 10:39 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • PRI Primerica Inc's CEO Discusses Second Quarter 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    This transcript is almost unreadable.. Not sure if the CEO John Addison is not providing useful responses or they are not being recorded properly.
    Aug 9 06:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: The Dangers Of Using Bad Data To Calculate Only One Metric [View article]
    S Deol - Agreed. That was the real purpose of the article.. get publicity, obtain a following and then leverage that following to make $$. Unfortunately, it will probably work for him. But, in the final analysis, using that metric and that metric alone is too unbalanced for CNBC to have allowed him air time.
    May 16 08:18 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL +2%) roundup: 1) Jim Cramer states Apple is "becoming the J.C. Penney of tech," while suggesting sentiment has become too negative. 2) The state-owned Chinese press has become more positive on Apple following Tim Cook's apology letter. 3) The USPTO has reaffirmed the Oct. invalidation of Apple's "rubber-banding" patent, which was successfully asserted against Samsung. 4) Apple has hired much of the team behind the original Segway, including robotics expert John Morrell. No word on what project Morrell is working on. (Goldman[View news story]
    He was dripping with sarcasm.
    Apr 2 05:43 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple Gave Wall Street The Middle Finger [View article]
    Ignoring middle finger gestures; Apple should initiate a buyback program based upon the price of the stock (ex: 400-450). This will have the effect of initiating a floor for the stock while increasing the yield.
    Today Apple's yield is 2.5%. A 20% buyback(if they could buy this much in that price range) would jump the yield to almost 3%. Then increasing their payout from 20% to 40% further increase the dividend yield to almost 6%.
    Result: stock price stabilization with an upwards bias.
    Jan 30 06:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Pricing Power? Questionable [View article]
    Gutone,

    Unfortunately, I believe Mark Twain's phrase about using statistics to bolster weak arguments applies to your article. ttp://en.wikipedia.org...

    Innovative products by definition capture a higher price initially and then are reduced to maximize margin dollars (profit/unit x # units).

    A slight lowering of prices while adding desirable features is not losing pricing power as you believe. It's just brilliant management.

    BV
    Jul 2 03:22 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Verizon Threw Apple A Curveball [View article]
    Paul,
    You may not have the numbers but being so detail oriented and mathematically inclined (based on your Amazon articles) I would have expected you to make a projection on what is known (not impacted by your hypothesis... ie non VZ iPhone users) and then make an educated guess on what is not known (VZ.. unlimited data plan). Including an estimate of china growth would then allow you to provide a useful potential impact on a percentage of iPhone overall use.

    You are making good money off readers.. you should consider providing more/above information relative to your hypothesis. It will make your users stickier vs departing.

    I could do this work for you as you suggest (as it's not that much work).. but I think that's not where the responsibility lies.

    Good luck and I hope your decision is to continue to grow readership vs the unappealing alternative above.
    BV
    May 22 01:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Verizon Threw Apple A Curveball [View article]
    Paul,
    To bolster you article can you share the number of VZ "Unlimited data plan" subscribers there are... and where those subscribers will go if they do in fact leave?
    These "departing subscriber" estimates can then be compared to what is going on in China not only with the China Mobile launch (Feb?) but also the stellar growth at China Telecom & China Unicom.. China is where the real game is now being played for Apple Management. If Apple can get govt buy-in (CHL included) then they're in Tremendous shape for years to come.
    May 18 02:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Analyzing Proposals To Spend Apple's Cash [View article]
    davel,
    Let me clarify my thinking. There is occurring a transition of Apple shareholders from growth funds to now include value funds. This transition needs to be looked at from 1 yr ago vs today. This transition was/is inevitable as companies fulfill their growth potential and mature. Apple has now added a dividend and this dividend will grow over time (todays payout ratio is near 25%). The valuation of Apple in the future (as the percent of value funds grows) will be as much or more due to the dividend payout as their growth. The higher the dividend, the more value funds and the greater % of those value funds will be investing in Apple. Value Funds are significantly larger than growth funds if you look at the market in its totality... Considering pension funds and other big money funds which require less risk this is clear. The dividend provides a floor to a stock if growth slows, growth funds exit when this occurs.

    So, my assumption was certainly not incorrect and the PE of Apple (like many, many other companies) has seen a compression of late. It is not the compression that is important over time, it is the dividend yield. If you have a shorter term investing horizon (say a year or two) then you can ignore the dividend but if you are a long term investor the dividend matters much. Over the course of the last 80 years, dividends have provided as much return to shareholders as has stock appreciation/depreciat...

    As far as the professionals not believing in the future prospects of apple, that is certainly not the case as they've got $1/2BB invested in the stock. It's more about minimizing their risk. Almost no "professional" would say they do not believe in Apples future, but many would certainly say the upside risk vs the downside risk is becoming less favorable as Apple is required to continue to dominate when it's competitors and governments are all working to prevent market dominance.
    May 10 09:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Analyzing Proposals To Spend Apple's Cash [View article]
    Kofi,
    Though I wish it were not true, the Apple buybacks over the course of 3 years will only cover the employee stock plans. Hindsight is 20/20 but I would have to imagine Apple management a year ago knew earnings would be unimaginably good given the upcoming product launches and the unquenchable appetite in China, China, China.. Thus, they should have been buying back shares last year. This would have improved the 1.8% dividend return to 2.5% for the same $10BB payout and $600 stock price. Too bad for the long term investors such as myself.
    Additionally, I realize they would have only used the US cash unless they wished to repatriate non US earnings and pay taxes first. Regardless, share buybacks should occur when the stock is clearly undervalued as Apple was last quarter with a FPE under 9.0... No need to wait longer when the price is higher to make big buybacks and thus follow the wasteful path of Cisco, Microsoft etc...
    May 3 05:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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97 Comments
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