Seeking Alpha

Lucas Krupinski

 
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  • Why Is The Market Not Buying Apple? [View article]
    I hope one of the things you do isn't dealing with your online bank and brokerage accounts. There are many other reasons I like apple products, but the just the simple number of virus' and Trojans on the android platform (and found in the app stores) gives me severe pause about ever trusting important information to them.

    Besides which, I like using a product that the vendor continues to support and provide updates for for years after its release, compared to the android market which seems to be "oh, you want the latest android operating system? That's easy, go buy a new phone!
    Jun 18, 2013. 02:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is The Market Not Buying Apple? [View article]
    I hope one of the things you do isn't dealing with your online bank and brokerage accounts. There are many other reasons I like apple products, but the just the simple number of virus' and Trojans on the android platform (and found in the app stores) gives me severe pause about ever trusting important information to them.

    Besides which, I like using a product that the vendor continues to support and provide updates for for years after its release, compared to the android market which seems to be "oh, you want the latest android operating system? That's easy, go buy a new phone!
    Jun 18, 2013. 02:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3D Printing Needs Apple And Apple Needs 3D Printing [View article]
    Apple was able to jump start desktop publishing because at the end of the day, almost any one can do a passable job at it, given enough commitment to the task. This isn't to downplay graphic designers skills and abilities, but technical aptitude takes a back seat to a designers eye in that field. So, they created tools (or more accurately, provided the platform so that others could build tools) that allowed people that lacked the technical aptitude (you know, constructing paste-ups, rub on type, etc) to skip that part and move straight on to unleashing their creative side. It worked and a new industry was born.

    3-D printing isn't like that; again from a platform perspective, I can't think of anything that Apple offers or could offer that would make OS X any more able at 3D printing than Windows or Linux. I'll note that I'm writing this on a Macbook Air, while looking at my desktop, which runs a Redhat clone, which itself hosts a virtualized Windows computer. So i'm not out to bash anyone, I use them all.

    But the move from a vision in your head to it being produced on a piece of paper is much less complex than turning that vision in your head into a 3D printed object. That's a job for Autodesk or an upstart. And while graphic designers have to think about typography, they can leave some tasks to specialists (such as color correction and color separation), leaving them to be more focused on their creative side. People producing for 3-D printers can't just create their models and leave it to someone else to actually make the model work in the real world, they need to know all the rules themselves.

    So again, I don't see what Apple would bring to the 3D printing game that's not already out there. True, easier to use software might be nice, but Apple is generally known for providing the underlying platform, not the actual tools. And I don't really see how designing 3-D objects can ever be simplified to the point that ordinary people will be able to make anything but the most rudimentary of objects.

    But then, I will admit to not being a fan of 3-D printing, so maybe that's my issue.
    Jun 15, 2013. 11:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why A Budget iPhone Is A Great Idea: 4 Reasons [View article]
    Funny thing, no, the sad thing is that should apple announce a cheaper iPhone, the cries from Wall Street will be "oh no, their margins are going to plummet !" Never mind the huge additional market that such a move could create, both in the us and other developed markets, but more so in china, India and other developing markets,... These people hold margins sacrosanct,even above actually expanding their traditional markets and growing sales.

    A cheaper re-think of the iPhone for all the people for which an iPhone represents an outsized amount of outlay compared to their income - I say go for it.
    May 10, 2013. 04:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why A Budget iPhone Is A Great Idea: 4 Reasons [View article]
    Funny thing, no, the sad thing is that should apple announce a cheaper iPhone, the cries from Wall Street will be "oh no, their margins are going to plummet !" Never mind the huge additional market that such a move could create, both in the us and other developed markets, but more so in china, India and other developing markets,... These people hold margins sacrosanct,even above actually expanding their traditional markets and growing sales.

    A cheaper re-think of the iPhone for all the people for which an iPhone represents an outsized amount of outlay compared to their income - I say go for it.
    May 10, 2013. 04:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple You Don't Know [View article]
    You do realize that companies were parking tons of cash offshore before Obama, right? And that corporate America blew their hopes for another tax holiday before Obama too, when they lobbied for a tax holiday to repatriate profits, promising to use that for hiring and then spending it on dividends instead? Though clearly the level of the debt is not a worry to you at all, since you're clearly opposed reducing our deficits and therefore debt growth. Insightful...
    May 10, 2013. 03:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple You Don't Know [View article]
    You do realize that companies were parking tons of cash offshore before Obama, right? And that corporate America blew their hopes for another tax holiday before Obama too, when they lobbied for a tax holiday to repatriate profits, promising to use that for hiring and then spending it on dividends instead? Though clearly the level of the debt is not a worry to you at all, since you're clearly opposed reducing our deficits and therefore debt growth. Insightful...
    May 10, 2013. 03:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple You Don't Know [View article]
    Rates could rise 5% and we still should have zero interest in the unrealized losses in apples portfolio - mark to market is useless when the company has an unquestioned ability to hold those investments to maturity. There is no event I can imagine that would force them sell them at a adverse price.
    May 10, 2013. 03:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should Apple Buy Back Shares Or Increase Dividends? [View article]
    what good does buying back the stock actually do? Sure, it improves the EPS for the remaining shares, but the fundamental problem with Apple's share price isn't that the EPS is too low, it's that people are basically ignoring the EPS. Spending $100 billion dollars in order to be able to show off an even more EPS and an even lower P/E ratio makes no sense when they're already as compelling of numbers as you can find in the stock market.

    And with a dividend at 3%, it would take 33 years for the cash savings from paying dividends on fewer shares for it to actually register as a better thing to do, cash flow wise. Maybe 15 years with aggressive annual increases, but hardly investor aside from Warren Buffett actually has that sort of time horizon when buying shares of a compamny. And the people that say they do, I'd wager they're mostly lying.
    May 1, 2013. 09:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should Apple Buy Back Shares Or Increase Dividends? [View article]
    in what regard was Apple too expensive? Having a $700 share price? Or simply trading at a P/E ratio of 13? That's the thing i never got when people talked about Apple being a stratospherically overpriced stock - there were talking in terms of price per share, not in terms of P/E or any metric that might have actually implied actual overpricing.
    May 1, 2013. 09:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should Apple Buy Back Shares Or Increase Dividends? [View article]
    Book value is relatively straight forward to calculate for financial firms. They own tons of assets that are generally priced on a regular basis, accompanied by liabilities whose amounts are continuously recalculated. It's alla very straight forward exercise

    You can't apply that logic to an Apple, Google oreven a microsoft. If you creaks banking institution with the same number of shares as BAC, and populate it with the same mix of assets and liabilities,, you can be reasonably sure that it'll perform in line with BAC

    You ca t apply the same methodology to a non-financial company, much less a tech company. I mean, you can, but the result will e meaningless.

    Take apple - what goes into calculating its book value? Cash, equivalents and investments are all easy to value. It's property (buildings, land, etc) can all be appraised. And I suppose you could come to a reasonable idea about the value for their own equipment - all the computers on desks and in data centers, along with the value of all the software licensed throughout the enterprise. Add on accounts receivable and thn back out payables, mortgages and other debt and you're getting pretty close to "book value"

    Now ask, if you created a new company and funded it with an equivalent amount of assets and assigned a like amount of liabilities to, will the resulting company have a shot at unseating apple in any of its ventures? Will it generate cash at the same rate?

    Of course not. But how do intangibles - intellectual property
    Iike patents, copyrights ,trademarks, along with millions, if not billions of lines of code get valued in a book value calculation? What is the precise value of Mac OS X 10.8 or ios 6? What are the plans for the iPhone 5 worth when determining book value?those numbers simply can't be distilled down to exact figures that can be used to calculate apples book value, and to even try to would be insanity. You simply can't look at apples share price from day to day and say "on September 16, apple was clearly trading below book value, and then the trend reversed itself and by October 28, you can see that Apple was trading ata50% premium to book.

    It's impossible.

    All that said, I,very disappointed in apples choice to ramp up its but back program. To me, that's using the companies cash, really shareholders cash in order to provide pricing support for shareholders who want to exit. We're not talking about a Berkshire Hathaway operation either, where retained earning are invested In the equity markets for growth.

    If management believes that the market is mispricing them, then that's fair. But I fail to see how reducing the share count by 200 million shares can be a guarantee that the mispricing will come to an end. The mis pricing could end, or it could become even more exacerbated.

    Writing checks to shareholders won't guarantee anything either, but at least that way, the cash that the company has generated, which in turn is why the investors invested in the first place, that money would be used by the, to each and every shareholders benefit rather than just to benefit the ones who want to reduce their exposure or end their ownership altogether.

    For financial firms that need to access the equity markets from time to time, I can understand them wanting needing to raise cash and selling shares when they think that their shares are richly valued and then buying those shares back when they're more flush with cash , especially if they're buying those shares at a discount to their easy to calculate boom value. But that's not apple; when it's sitting on mountains of cash and seeing tidal waves of more cash coming in, I think that money should be used to reward the shareholders who have all taken risks in owning the company, than to deploy the money in s financial engineering operation meant to make the worlds most profitable company look even more profitable without changing its financial results one iota.

    End of rant. Off to sleep for me.
    May 1, 2013. 01:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Shareholder Program: The Day The Music Died [View article]
    What? A net gain through buy backs? It'll take decades before the monies saved from not having to pay dividends on the shares ($12/sh/yr) that are bought back becomes worth more than the the cst of shares they're going to buy.

    This is just financial engineering to try to improve the statistics behind apples shares at a tremendous cost to the shareholders. Essentially, $50bn is being spent to support exiting shareholders with zero benefit for the remaining owners.
    Apr 28, 2013. 10:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple-Microsoft Comparison Is Valid [View article]
    Yeah - P/E is something that detractors seem to gloss right past. When AAPL's shares were trading in the $600's and $700's, detractors would go after the "unsustainable" share price as if Apple was trading at multiples like Amazon's or Netflix's, not at cheaper multiples than just about any other large cap stock out there.

    I'm out of the stock for now. Took some gains when it went up, and had a small bite taken out of those gains when it fell, so I'm just waiting for enough time to pass so a repurchase won't trigger a wash sale, and hoping the share price stays where it is or falls even furtther for the next few weeks so that I can start accumulating shares are a reasonable price.
    Apr 25, 2013. 11:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's The Ecosystem, Stupid: What The Ratings Agencies Said About Apple [View article]
    this is a terrible waste of shareholders money. We already see AAPL trading at such depressed levels, why do they think that reducing the share count will all of a sudden make analysts, stock holders or traders re-assess their valuation methods? So they'll spend huge amounts of money and in return boost their EPS to even higher numbers and reduce their P/E even further, and Wall Street will still price them where they do.

    Much better would have been to simply return the money to shareholders via dividends. But that's me, I am never happy to see buybacks, because to me it's just a bit of financial engineering to try to improve the income statement without actually changing anything about the company, sales or operations.
    Apr 24, 2013. 08:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple $395: Time To Give Up And Abandon Ship? [View article]
    I'm not buying Apple today (or tomorrow, for that matter), but i disagree about the sentiment of buying only on confirmed trends.

    I'd rather be a little too early to the party than too late. For instance, when I find a stock that appears mispriced, I don't sit snd wait for the price to start going up before I buy.

    For instance, if I found a company selling for $15 that I thought should be trading around $25, I'd rather buy it at $15 than wait for the market to create a "confirmed uptrend" for me to follow, as that would probably mean I'd be waiting for the price to get higher before pulling the trigger.

    "I really like this stock, but $15 is too cheap, I'd rather wait a little while longer and buy it at $18 instead".
    Apr 21, 2013. 11:43 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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