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Tales From The Future
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Tales From The Future. I picked my nickname because many advisors and investors claim they can predict the future of the (stock) markets and somehow pick the winners. I don't. I usually do not engage in short-term trading and myopic analysis (quarter by quarter, without looking at the big... More
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  • Three Of The Top Five Smartphone Companies Are Now Chinese - But What About Profits?

    Below is a chart on pure unit number smartphones shipments (and growth comparisons for Q3 2013 vs Q3 2014).

    Many people would have guessed Samsung and Apple correctly, but might had trouble getting the next three vendor names right.

    The rise of Chinese smartphone companies is certainly impressive, especially in South East Asia where Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo are strong local players who early bet on bigger phones with screens at or above 5'':


    But questions about the viability of the business models and bottom line remain (as well as copycat accusations in the case of Xiaomi).

    It will be interesting to see how Xiaomi and others will make (any) money on software/services beyond hardware. So far their hardware margins are really low, it was all about topline growth!

    Below are Xiaomi's 2013 numbers revealed - confirming what I long suspected before these numbers became public:

    Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi posted a slim profit of 347.48 million yuan ($56.15 million) on 26.58 billion yuan ($4.30 billion) in revenues in 2013. The new information comes from a Chinese regulatory filing-the first time that the fast-growing, privately-held company's finances have been made public-and was first reported by Reuters.

    Crunching those numbers shows a profit margin of only 1.3%, which still puts Xiaomi ahead of its South Korean rival LG Electronics, which posted a 0.5% margin last year, but well behind Apple (28.7%) and Samsung (18.7%). Apple and Samsung have between them long dominated the high-end segment the smartphone market that actually makes money. In 2012, the companies together captured all of the industry's total profits.


    Disclosure: The author is long AAPL.

    Tags: AAPL, SSNLF
    Dec 22 1:25 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Investment Themes And Fads: 1996-2014

    From the same source as my last Instablog post, interesting summary:

    (click to enlarge)


    Dec 16 11:04 AM | Link | Comment!
  • 2015: No Bears Left (Really ?!)


    Barron's is out with it's 2015 Outlook issue this weekend and, of 10 major Wall Street strategists, they couldn't find a single bear.

    That's usually when things are about to turn...or at least when observers should wonder how long this stampede in one direction will continue.

    I withhold my final judgment until the smoke clears at the FED and the FED fund rate changes for 2015 and beyond (are there really going to be first rate hikes in 2015?).

    Dec 16 10:00 AM | Link | 1 Comment
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