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George Acs

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  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    With $150 B in cash and easy access to very cheap money, Apple could have done most any acquisition with ease and still generate plenty of cash flow to keep share holders happy, as they need about $11 B for annual dividend payments.

    Would they do a telecom? I don't think so. Their style has never been to go big in their acquisition targets, but you never know. I would imagine there would be some pushback from the remaining telecoms if Apple were to move in that direction, but they would likely have greater ability to pull that off than Google, which still suffers from corporate attention deficit disorder
    Apr 25 12:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    As mentioned earlier, Apple is competing against itself. The market doesn't care what its product margins are compared to anyone else. They simply will care about quarter to quarter comparisons to their own past performance.
    Apr 24 08:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    And the iPod was once also pre-eminent, but it needed to be superseded by something else. The iPhone won't maintain supremacy forever, unless Apple moves forward and introduces a convincing new product or can replace its revenue stream with a new product line.

    However, it's really not an issue of Apple versus anyone else. Apple is now competing against its past self and the expectations that it has set for itself.
    Apr 24 08:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Expect The Unexpected [View article]
    In general, I like it when shares start to sell off prior to earnings and then sell the puts.

    The reason I like that is because that often gets the excesses out of the stock and may limit the further downside after earnings are announced. Also, with momentum taking a stock lower the option premiums for the out of the money puts start to get enhanced, so you can often get a better ROI even when risk is reduced, as well.

    Of course if shares move higher after you sold the puts that can be great because sometimes you can pocket a decent return even before the earnings announcement.

    On the other hand if shares are moving higher before earnings and then you sell the puts you end up having to select a higher strike price, likely a lower premium (because sentiment is to the upside) and in the event of an adverse report may lose whatever poorly conceived or speculation pre-earnings advance occurred in addition to further losses.

    The old straddle/straddle on Facebook? Too much fine tuning for my tastes and diminishing ability to pay attention to those kind of details. Good luck.
    Apr 24 08:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Expect The Unexpected [View article]
    It's sometimes easy to make some of those kinds of errors. Sometimes mine are so bad the computer starts coughing before it rejects the order.

    Sounds like you've been busy. The more you do the put sales the more you'll appreciate the beauty of rolling them over, especially if you can do so at an even lower strike level, while still adding premium and enhancing the ROI.

    Now, if I remember the scene from Caddyshack, careful about trading your soul to the devil for that perfect round in the rain.
    Apr 24 08:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    Here's the flaw:

    Those innovations don't sell the products. They are add-ons for most people who are oblivious to the incredible engineering and ingenuity that goes into even incremental product releases. Not many new or repeat customers are going to stand in line because of a fingerprint reader or its potential to be tied to a payment system in the future.

    What is missing is not the innovation, it's the innovative product.
    Apr 24 05:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    You're counting on multiple expansion just as people have been doing for years.

    Apple's P/E, which was briefly down to about 9 prior to Icahn's entry, is held down for two reasons. It is valued as a retailer and it sits on cash that accounts for 30% of its market capitalization. That means that only 70% of the value is generating real revenue and it serves to lower the overall P/E.

    People have been using the low P/E, by tech sector standards, for years to justify the belief that shares would head even higher and higher.

    Guess what? That's not likely going to happen unless they do something with the cash and re-establish hard core revenue growth. None of the moves yesterday indicate that Apple is going to be that company anymore. Think Intel, Microsoft and Cisco. Cash coming in like crazy, but not the kind of growth as in the past.
    Apr 24 05:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    On one hand, that is what upsets people so much. The market values Apple as if it was a retailer and not a technology leader. That may explain its low P/E and how that P?E has continually gone down as Apple has expanded its retail presence and piled up cash (which itself accounts for 30% of market cap, yet has a P/E of just 1)

    Most would rather not think of Apple as a retailer and they hold onto dreams of it being valued as a tech company, as if the market was completely unaware and would suddenly wake up.
    Apr 24 05:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    It's Dr. Acs
    The past is the past. You can respect the past yet still question the path for the future. Apple had long received a free pass on many issues and is now increasingly under scrutiny over many issues.

    The error you make appears to be in reading comprehension. What you specifically refer to as "short-sighted" are of your own projections and distorted interpretations. There is a difference between innovation and an innovative product. Further, the claim was not that Apple has "no innovation" as you have interpreted, but rather that its innovation is being called into question.

    Neither was there a comment that the stock was being pumped "purely and exclusively" through financial engineering. Those are entirely of your own making.

    You appear to be an apologist for the Board, suggesting that they somehow came to a realization that cash was piling up well beyond the needs of the company. The amount of cash in Apple's coffers has long been well in excess of what was necessary for R&D and for acquisitions. The Board has acted not out of their fiduciary responsibility, for they would have done that long, long ago. Rather, they acted from activist pressure. The time frames of their insertion into the equation by Einhorn and Icahn are far too congruous to be coincidental.

    Having seen comments over the years, particularly with Apple, it is usually clear that the degree to which someone puts their "money where their mouth is" often precludes them from an objective and critical look at events surrounding them. That is certainly understandable, although not necessarily excusable.
    What is not understandable is how you failed to comprehend or understand that I view Apple as a better trading stock today, than it was yesterday, specifically due to Cook's actions. You have been around long enough to know that what he has done is taken a lesson from the annals of history of those companies that are getting ready to settle into middle age, not senescence and not irrelevance.
    Apr 24 04:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    Apple has spent a decade hitting home runs. It was the home run and then another and another that rescued a moribund company, that was on life support.

    Doing fine and selling product to a slowly growing consumer base is not what supports share price at the levels that investors have become accustomed.

    What you are saying is precisely what I have said, but you did so in terms of the consumer market and I said so in terms of stock price.

    We both agree that the momentum days are going to be, or are already a thing of the past.

    If your focus is not on share price, but rather on the evolution of consumer products, then that evolution can be gradual and needed by in quantum form, but for the stock? If you take away the quantum release and explosive revenue growth from those releases, then you just have to do what Tim Cook has just done.
    Apr 24 03:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    I have no doubt that Apple is busily at work nearly every second of the day somewhere in the world seeking to innovate.
    It's not that they will stop innovating. It's a question of bringing an innovative product to the market. Then further, that innovative product has to be broadly accepted by consumers.

    Under the radar innovations bring few customers at the margins. There needs to be a quantum leap, especially from a company that had its glory days by doing quantum leaps so well and then convincing consumers to purchase intermediate versions of products with fantastic profit margins.
    Commoditization, competition and brain drain are all conspiring against any single company from monopolizing the market place for all eternity.
    Yet, still, that is not at issue in this article. It is simply one that suggests that its upward only growth days are behind it. The moves Cook has just taken are those pulled from the text book of thriving, once go-go companies that are settling into a different phase of their corporate lives.
    As it does, the strategies for creating profits from Apple shares may change from buy and hold ( and hopefully selling to capture profits) to more opportunistic techniques, such as covered options.
    Apr 24 03:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    There most certainly must be something going on in the background, but at some point they have to change an increasing perception that they don't have something earth shattering and are become vision deficient.
    Apr 24 03:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple [View article]
    I spend most of my time selling weekly call options.

    Does that tell you anything about time frame? But with that said, I did the buy and hold think for 25+ years and tired of seeing good stocks and solid companies ride a roller coaster that caused paper gains evaporate. Thinking you are smart enough to know when to enter and exit is a sure way toward disappointment. I simply now look to let the flow go where it will and bob up and down along with it.

    But you really do have to separate anything you may believe to be true about the company from considerations regarding its shares. Just because Apple makes the most exquisite products doesn't mean that at a given point in time you have to be enamored of its shares. I made that point repeatedly in 2012 and 2013 to a good deal of scorn and derision. On the other hand, when I started buying shares again and reporting such change in sentiment,there were no pats on the back, not that it matters.

    What matters is being on the right side of the trade more often on a net basis than on the wrong side. On Apple, I've been consistently right in direction and timing.
    There, I patted my own back.
    Apr 24 02:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Expect The Unexpected [View article]
    Question for you - when did you sell the puts? With Amazon up sharply today, this would not have been an optimal time to have done so, but if you sold the puts prior to the run-up higher, or best of all after a decline such as between 4/21 and 4/23, that leaves you in better position.

    If you sold the puts prior to today, given the price run higher, do you already have sufficient profit in the puts if you closed position prior to earnings?
    Apr 24 02:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Expect The Unexpected [View article]
    I am holding my own, but I thought the closed circuit cameras had been removed, so I'll discretely stop and hope no one was watching.

    Don't forget, that if you don't really have much interest in owning shares you look to the possibility of rolling the puts over before they are likely to be assigned.

    I did that today for Cree and will try to keep doing it until I can close out the position or it expires on its own, as occurred recently, following a lengthy game of staying one step ahead of assignment, but collecting premiums all along the way.
    Apr 24 02:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment