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George Acs

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  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Which is it? Do upgrades and downgrades have a "direct effect on stock prices" or do investor reactions have the direct effect?

    Clearly the analysts can only have an indirect effect, even if their call results in trading by their own firm. Their pronouncements are sterile until someone acts upon them.

    Given the lack of predictable outcome, you would have to agree that upgrades and downgrades have little validity, yet they still have clout. That is entirely irrational, yet predictable behavior on behalf of many investors.

    For analysts it's very inconvenient that people like you can remember their ping pong like recommendations, running hot one second and then cold the next. The are able to hide behind vague time frames and have absolutely no interest in the integrity of accounts, even client accounts, that get whipsawed by their exercises. They often simply value their ability to see markets respond to their judgments.

    Now the real cynic would say that downgrades by sell side analysts create the opportunities for their buy side clients
    Sep 11 07:34 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Well, I certainly agree that the market gets it wrong on intra-day and on a day to day basis, but I'm not certain I agree with your synopsis. especially as the time basis becomes longer, which is when the market does tend to get things right.

    Most people don't buy a stock because they believe that the market has gotten its valuation wrong. Rather they buy the stock with future value in mind. They simply believe that shares will be worth more in the future and are agnostic regarding whether the market is right or wrong. In fact, they hope that the market will be right when it is time to sell, because it's only if the market gets valuation correct that they will be able to realize a profit.
    Sep 11 07:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    I was a little more roundabout in my questioning of the validity of the statement regarding European sales.

    Ultimately, Tim Cook's comment is along the lines of an old Tolstoy short story "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" Cook is smart enough to know that he doesn't need it all, just enough.
    Sep 11 07:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    I don't really scoff at the "mania," that's real. What I still wonder about is whether the iPhone offers any advantage, in hardware or software, for most users over Droid, Windows or even Blackberry smart phones.

    I'm not shy about technology or accepting new technologies, but I remain an iPhone holdout, perhaps because I already do much of my day's work on my current phone and am very satisfied with the collection of apps that allows me to function as if I was in an office.
    Sep 11 07:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Thanks. Your preaching to the converted. You may have noticed that I mentioned in the article that I almost never hold shares without selling calls at the same time.

    I write a weekly series here at SA that looks at the coming week's potential covered call trades.

    When I wrote the article about Carl Icahn and Apple, I made that comment and even one of the SA editors was surprsied by it
    Sep 11 06:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    You're absolutely right. Tim Cook has been managing the company the way in many critics wanted him to manage. For that he receives no recognition (other than from you).

    While he may not be the best CEO when it comes to high profile appearances, he is an excellent manager at a time when Apple was poised for product disappointments.

    It actually reminds me of when Ben Bernanke assumed the Federal Reserve Chairmanship from Greenspan. The comparisons were brutal. But then it became clear that his predecessor may have created the seeds for the financial calamity that ensued. Not that Steve Jobs created calamity, but he did create incredibly high expectations that were as sustainable as 80% quarter to quarter growth seen in the dot com days.
    Sep 11 06:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Carl Icahn stated that he was picking up large positions today in the $465 range.

    I think Apple will have something more substantive in it than simply a dead cat bounce., but I think the road to $570, as you're hoping, will be challenging unless the overall market plays along.

    A year ago Apple pulled the market forward. This time around it will need the market to re-pay the favor if it's going to make sustained large moves higher
    Sep 11 06:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Exactly right.
    Sep 11 05:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Which payment processor would you like to use for the bet?

    I'm not certain who the dividend related comment is directed toward, I can't seem to find any reference.

    But with regard to dividend, if my interpretation of your comment is correct, then you own shares at a very low cost basis. How much did you then leave on the table as Apple dropped from $700? Probably much more than a losing $50 bet, would be my guess, at least if you own more than 1/4 share
    Sep 11 05:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Thanks, but I remain a resolute WIndows warrior. I had my Apple days years ago, back when networking PC's (before WIndows) was a real nightmare, but it became harder to justify keeping Macintosh networks to IT in a DOS/Unix environment that moved to Windows.
    Sep 11 05:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Opportunity cost has to be the basis of assessing any specific investment.

    In fact for my subscription service, each trade is compared to the S&P 500 for the time span of the holding period, as I believe that is the most valid way of assessing the trade.

    Depending on your time frame Apple can certainly out-perform the index. It may not out-perform the next hot tech stock, but when you choose a comparator to determine opportunity costs you (the generic "you") are deluding yourself into thinking that you would have been fortunate enough to own a flier at precisely the right time.

    The market tends to get things right over the long term, such as Apple's P/E, which many fail to accept as being warranted. However, given the paroxysms of movement and rapid alternation of direction, it's hard to make a case that the market gets it right on the short term or from day to day.

    As far as being dangerous to one's portfolio, I wouldn't be terribly concerned if following basic rules, such as diversification. Sick stocks recover, but sick companies have a much harder time doing so. Sell enough call options and collect enough dividends and with patience a sick stock in a sold company will often re-earn its deserved place in a portfolio. At least from my decades of experience
    Sep 11 05:39 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Who is picking up market share in Europe? Has the market itself expanded such that a decrease in share is sot necessarily reflected in a decrease in sales.

    Tim Cook has said, and this is a fairly unique perspective for a CEO of a major company that he doesn't believe that Apple needs to have dominant market share. Only enough to control its own destiny.
    Sep 11 05:16 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Thanks. There's a lot to be said for avoiding pain.

    I very firmly believe that it's far harder to recover 33% from that $5 loss on a $20 stock than it is to gain 25% on a $5 gain on a $20 stock.

    I may not be right, but I don't believe that most people managing your money even give it a thought.
    Sep 11 04:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    Thanks. Nice list, but I especially like a comment that begins with me and ends with me, even if negative.

    Buying on dips is one of the hallmarks of how I like to practice the covered call strategy that I use. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, my timing is often off, but it really doesn't matter. I'd rather try to catch that falling knife knowing that in all likelihood the floor isn't too far away, based on past history.

    Buying on those dips on the same stocks, over and over again, may not be very imaginative, but who needs creativity when there's profit?
    Sep 11 03:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • I Bought Apple [View article]
    We'll certainly get an idea of how much of the buyback has enacted as earnings are released on 10/22. I agree with you. The only real question is by how much per share earnings will increase.

    While I was critical of the process by which the buy back has been initiated (Shame on you, Apple ), the outcome is hard to criticize.

    As far as disappointment in not being included in the Dow Jones, that is not likely to happen at the current share price. SInce the DJIA is price weighted and not market cap weighted, Apple offers to great of a liability to the index. In fact, the addition of high priced Visa and Goldman Sachs serve to reduce the impact of IBM, which has had undue impact

    Also, just look at today's market differential. The DJ is up 0.63%, while the S&P 500 is up only 0.08% and the NASDAQ100 is down 0.26%. That differential is all due to Apple. If it was in the DJ the differential would still exist, but likely be in the other direction.
    Sep 11 03:34 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment