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  • Cyprus's parliament is due to convene this afternoon to debate an astonishing eurozone demand that it tax all bank deposits at up to 10% in return for a €10B bailout. While approval is not guaranteed, Cypriots rushed to take as much money as allowed out of ATMs. And although EU Commissioner Olli Rehn ruled out a deposit raid in other eurozone countries, menacingly for savers, eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem would not. "We are in a new world," says an economist. Update: The parliamentary debate has been postponed until tomorrow. [View news story]
    You need to know the whole bailout negotions process in order to comment these news. First of all, Cyprus was among the most touched counties, by the Greek and the Turkish financial crisis, since they are the most direct Cyprus' trading partners. Secondly, there is the discovered offshore gas consession, that was supposed to be used as a guarantee. However, it's still unknown how it is going to work out because of the territorial conflict with Turkey and Erdogan's readiness to 'conquer' these gas fields by military means. This gas is supposed to start being exploited by 2014 in cooperation with Israel.

    However the main reason why EU doesn't want to help Cyprus is because of decades of its shady offshore banking system. The main reaon why Cyprus was among the first countries to join EU was because EU wanted to influence and eventually terminate its opaque banking industry. Cyprus is the country where the whole European mafia, dirty Eastern European politicians and other illegally working businessmen hide and launder their cash.

    Recently, Cypriot Governement received two propositions. EU offered Cyprus their help in exchange of austerity measures AND of a complete uncover of their banking accounts. Meanwhile Putin personally offered to lend Cyprus the money it needed in order to protect his close friends and his political system based exclusively on corruption. After that announcement, EU offered Cyprus not to uncover their banking secret, but rather to set a special tax on their deposit accounts.

    Both options, rather it's going to be a special tax or the end of the banking secret will harm Cypriot banking industry. The government is studying its possibilities, but I think that it is very unlikely that they will set a special tax on their own citizens. Even a compensated special tax, with stocks and bonds is highly unlawful and the ruling party would never be elected again.

    The main issue is that it's simply a question of political games rather than a difficulty in the EU. It's a small offshore country going against EU. Nevertheless, it will certainly sign the end of the stock rally.
    Mar 17, 2013. 01:02 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Evidence is growing an iPhone 5S (AAPL +0.4%) will arrive around mid-year. Mizuho says checks indicate an iPhone refresh in June or July, and that March quarter iPhone shipments will fall to the 35M-40M range (in-line with consensus). Wedge Partners: "We understand Foxconn is currently prepping production lines for ... iPhone 5S production, which we believe is scheduled to begin in the April timeframe." The firm thinks the 5S will be unveiled at the WWDC conference (typically in June), with sales likely starting in July. MacOtakara recently reported Foxconn has begun 5S production. [View news story]

    It's not about the speculation, it's about the fact that while all the tech companies are moving forward, Apple sits on a stockpile of cash, dead scared to invest and keeps producing "generics" (to answer to your cancer cure remark) - iPhone 4s, iPhone 5 and now iPhone 5s... What next? Concurrence works on bendable screens, augmented reality, ultra-resistant smartphones and on alternative payment means. Meanwhile Apple released a "taller" phone. Bravo! And the fear to go forward is simply one of Apple's flaws. There are issues with Foxconn, melting margins, incompetent CEO, deteriorating image and so on and on... I've been short from $575 and still I don't see it going higher with this terrible management and their pathetic projects like an iTV or an iWatch.
    Mar 8, 2013. 01:03 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Apple (AAPL) rumor mill is in full swing: 1) Bloomberg and The Verge report Apple is hoping to release an iWatch this year. Sources tell The Verge Jony Ive is spearheading the project, that a modified version of iOS will be used, and that battery life remains a challenge. Bloomberg reports the device will allow users to make calls and feature health sensors, while pointing out the watch industry is worth $60B and has a 60% gross margin. 2) iMore reports an iPhone 5S with a design similar to the iPhone 5 is slated for August, and a 5th-gen regular iPad might arrive in April. [View news story]
    The 60% margin are based on basic Casio/Swatch watches. If you want to make an iWatch you need a flawless battery that could hold at least a week, an ingenious charging system, all the iPhone functionalities and possibly a bendable screen in the next generations. All these high technologies are going to shrink Apple margins to about 25-30%, it is going to make Apple pay some extra patent royalties, it is certainly going to bring brand new trials and a concurence like Swatch Group or even Samsung, who are going to work much faster, since this time they will see Apple coming. And all that for a product that faces a relatively low world demand. Anyhow, it is going to take time to release that watch and if Apple is going to release an iPhone 5s (same as the 5) it is certainly going to send AAPL shares to <$400 and we will see if it will be a buy or a sell in wake of the iWatch release.
    Mar 5, 2013. 02:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here To Make (Quick) Money With Nokia [View instapost]
    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be rude or impolite. We had some issues with Eld, since we had a discussion on his blog and he blocked me in the middle of our argumentation, without any valid reason and deleted most of my comments, which I found intellectually dishonest and abusive. So I certainly overreacted in my previous comment. I appolegize for the tone of my comment.
    Anyhow, I find it at least as annoying and unproductive to read irrationally bullish comments, as the irrationally bearish ones, especially when those comments admit mistakes.
    Jan 27, 2013. 01:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Many Lumia Phones Does Nokia Need To Sell? [View article]

    Page 25 : Gross profit 221m, operating expenses 481m (227m of additional restructuring costs) and other expenses 4m, so we get to a loss of 264m for the smartphone division. The mobile phones furnish a profit of 203m and other profits of the phones and services division are at 337m (most of these profits come from assets sales). So that's how we get to the full profit of 276m for the phone and services division.

    Page 31: Gross margin 8.8% compared with -28.6% in 2011. Contribution margin 28.6% compared with -3.8% in 2011.
    "The year-on-year decrease in operating expenses was affected by the proportionate allocation of operating expenses being affected by the relative mix of sales and gross profit performance between Mobile Phones and Smart Devices, resulting in lower relative allocations to Smart Devices in 2012. Accordingly, 2012 operating expenses are not directly comparable to 2011 operating expenses."
    "The year-on-year decline in our Smart Devices gross margin in 2012 was primarily due to greater price erosion than cost erosion due to the competitive environment, inventory related allowances of EUR 220 million in the second quarter 2012 and EUR 120 million in the third quarter 2012, higher fixed costs per unit because of lower sales volumes, and a negative product mix shift towards lower gross margin devices."

    Nokia will have to dramatically increase their smartphone sales if they want to remain a phone maker. They still aren't competitive enough to be able to survive on the market, even though Elop managed to increase the smartphone margins since Lumia 900 by modernizing their production lines and adopting Apple's and Samsung's business models. It's insufficient if they can't sell (or produce, the result is the same) at least twice as much latest Lumia models. Anyhow they will have to modernize their factories to be able to produce smartphones instead of mobile phones, or they will have to open new factories, so we will have to expect additional expenses in the following quarters. They also still employ 33.201 workers in the phones and services division (page 38), note a -33% Y/Y change and -13% Q/Q change, which is still too much regarding Nokia's margin product. I was expecting Nokia to abandon mobile phone division in 2013 by modernizing their Asha line and keeping Lumias, however in wake of the latest results it's absolutely out of question since Nokia earns money exclusively with mobile phones. It's going to be a long way to go for the smartphone division.
    Jan 27, 2013. 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Many Lumia Phones Does Nokia Need To Sell? [View article]

    Please stop spamming these news on every SA article, it starts to become really annoying. I'm sorry to say that, but no one reads obvious spams anyway.
    Jan 26, 2013. 09:57 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackRock has offered to buy about $80M in Twitter stock from early employees that would value the company at more than $9B, reports the FT. This is above the $8.4B Twitter was valued at in its last major funding round in 2011, but below the $10B-$11B valuation in 2 smaller transactions late in 2012. [View news story]
    A site valued at $9B, the world must be going crazy again. The next bubble is already coming...
    Jan 26, 2013. 09:51 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With its U.S. smartphone share having fallen to miniscule levels, RIM (RIMM -1.1%) is counting on a Super Bowl ad to create some buzz in the country ahead of its first BB10 hardware launches (likely the Z10 and X10). In a PR discussing the ad, RIM suggests new BB10 tablets will eventually arrive to go with smartphones. The average price for a 30-second Super Bowl ad this year is reportedly $3.8M. [View news story]
    Interestingly enough, Blackberry's have always had lower specifications than the concurrence, without even mentioning their tiny hard disks. I'm wondering if they learned their lessons and if BB10 devices are going to be at least as good as iPhones. I'm also very intrigued to see the new low-end Blackberry's. After all these models keep Blackberry phone division afloat, even though they get the less attention. Those low-end devices will have to compete agains Samsung, Nokia and Huwai, which is not going to be easy at all.
    Jan 26, 2013. 09:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here To Make (Quick) Money With Nokia [View instapost]
    Eld... It's really nice that you learned a new economical concept since our last conversation, however it would have been even better if you knew what you were talking about. Every company that produces something on oligopoly (which is of course Nokia's case) benefits of economies of scale, simply because companies always produce in the elastic part of the demand. Which means that companies chose how many units they want to produce in order to benefit of economies of scales. Otherwise, they would be 100% sure to lose money by simply producing these units, which is absurd. It's completely senseless to say that Nokia doesn't benefits of economies of scales. I assume that you wanted to seem more intellectual or even more professional, by putting "economies of scale" in the sentence where this term simply doesn't belong, which had an extremely pitiful consequence... I would say to another person that it's just an unfortunate mistake and that it's a mix of terms, but with you, young man, when you pretend being a graduated economist, this kind of mistakes is unfortunately chronic.
    Jan 26, 2013. 09:40 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia: Take Home Lessons From The Latest Guidance [View article]
    Cramer recognizes his errors... Sometimes... At least he tries to justify himself, which is a good start.
    Jan 10, 2013. 02:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia Update - Profitability Is Back, But Future Still In Doubt [View article]
    I think that there are two main negative points here.

    1. Insufficient marketing! Not enough visibility at all. The positive thing here is that Nokia is still able to attract a reasonable number of customers toward its Lumia phones even without promoting them. Nevertheless, 4.4m is not enough and they absolutely need to invest in marketing.

    2. Microsoft isn't doing its job correctly. If you reed the feedbacks, there are almost no blames regarding Lumias at all, it's all about WP8 glitches and lack of applications. The camera glitch has been fixed in a couple of weeks by NOKIA's update as well as some minor battery issues. They absolutely have to revive their team work...
    Jan 10, 2013. 11:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here To Make (Quick) Money With Nokia [View instapost]
    Disappointing results and a clear case of a massive inside trading for the last 2 days... Way too much hidden information and emotional trading! What else to say... Risks and rewards of beaten stocks!

    Anyhow, I'm not going to cash out until all this euphoria is going to settle down. It's obvious that there is way too much movement on the market and it's being completely deregulated for a couple of days. Hard to predict the next NOK's movement. Unfortunately there is still no coverage of NOK on sites and channels like CNBC...
    Jan 10, 2013. 09:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here To Make (Quick) Money With Nokia [View instapost]
    I didn't expect NOK to go that low today. It took me by surprise. It's clearly a shorts day today! Nothing really negative for Nokia to bring it down by 7% but somehow news get exaggerated and everything comes in the same time.
    Jan 9, 2013. 02:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here To Make (Quick) Money With Nokia [View instapost]
    Mr Santerre,

    Yes, Nokia looks certainly much better than a year ago, but it's far from perfect. I still have doubts regarding Nokia's ability to keep its phone division. Even if at the Q4 announcement Nokia won't have any losses at its phone division we can expect any tremendous profits either. The results are going to be around -50m and 50m which is simply ridiculous for a company of Nokia's size. On the long term it is not viable and sometimes tough decisions must be taken. I think that Q4 will be the answer to most of questions and conserns. We'll see if Mr Elop is on the right way.
    Jan 9, 2013. 06:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here To Make (Quick) Money With Nokia [View instapost]

    "We" see Apple as it is now, but emerging markets see it very differently. They didn't have access to each and every iPhone model or other Apple devices. In most countries it's a dream to own an Apple product other than an iPod. It would be an unexpected opportunity for them to purchase an "iPhone". And that's all that counts. Of course, Apple will blow up the margins by offering ridiculously low specifications, as it did for iPad mini, but the first year of the release people won't care. It's going to be the huge success in emerging markets. So phones like Lumia 620, Lumia 820, GS3 mini, Blackberry's, HTC's and even all the Chinese phone makers will certainly feel it coming. Heads are going to fall, while Apple will do what it does the best, it will make more cash. Making money is not "always" about innovation. They are taking the last big money of "iPhone" and either Job's magic is still here and they are coming with something even more spectacular, either they will simply keep coming with some upgrades. Anyhow, Apple's fall is certainly not for now. And no, I'm not long AAPL, but I'm seriously considering it.
    Jan 9, 2013. 05:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment