Seeking Alpha

Davidoff

Davidoff
Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View Davidoff's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • iBeacon to be unveiled at San Francisco Developers Conference [View news story]
    I love when longs who sell to buy lower suddenly turn extremely bearish in a minute...

    No iBeacon yet, but when they announced that the OS Yosemite allows to receive iPhone calls and regular SMS on your Mac, it was simply amazing, the whole audience went wild.
    Jun 2 01:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fresh 52-week highs for Apple following Goldman PT hike [View news story]
    6th June.
    May 30 01:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No News Is Good News At J.C. Penney [View article]
    JCP is the kind of companies that not one single rational investor should invest in, but you just feel the need to take a small stake, cause at some point it must shoot higher. In JPC's case you invest in a story, not in a company. I don't believe in a magical turnaround, but I do believe in the Wall street's legendary CEO's mea culpa effect. Many companies stood at JCP's place, for example HPQ, YHOO, AMZN, BBY, BBRY, etc. for the most recent examples, but also car makers or banks after 2009. CEOs or even the whole board stands up and publicly recognize that their company is a mess, that they made a lot of mistakes in the past, but that they are fully committed to make their company work. That fake honesty technic works almost each time. With a tiny sign of recovery shares soar and the whole point is to dump them at the right moment. Nothing justifies these spikes, but they still happen and I expect JCP to have that kind of spike by October.
    May 30 01:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No News Is Good News At J.C. Penney [View article]
    Huh, no more personal stories about driving 35 miles to get a $0.50 refund on a coffee? I'm impressed! Very good article.

    It's obvious that JCP is in a terrible shape, but their situation is reflected in the share price and that's exactly why they trade that low. They lose hundreds of millions a quarter, we can express serious doubts regarding their long term solvency and it should take quarters before they'd show any serious signs of improvement. It's an extremly risky investment, but the potential returns might go up to 100% in midterm without any real improvements, just on the sentiment shift and that's why in my opinion it's important to take a small position.
    May 30 06:04 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google's next moves for self-driving cars: no steering, pedals [View news story]
    In 2004 DARPA announced its Grand Challenge mainly for college students and researchers. Just to remind you, US Army offered $1 million to any team that would be able to develop a self driving car, that would be able to drive alone (using GPS) 150 miles in a straight line in Mojave desert without having any accidents. It was quiet terrible, the best car drove about 7 miles before taking fire. In 2005, the event took place again and this time the main prize was doubled. Just one year later, over 20 cars drove farther than the 2004's best car and 5 teams managed to make their cars drive 150 miles. The leap is simply huge, we went from 7 miles in 2004 to 150 miles in 2005. And finally, in 2010, only 5 years after the first self-driving car (in straight line), Google started to test their famous Google cars driving as good as with a driver. They didn't even have one single accident. It took only 6 years to develop a fully autonomous self-driving car out of scratch. It wouldn't amaze me if in 10 years from now, self-driving cars would become a norm, just like self-parking cars are today. By the way, could you imagine 10-15 years ago that cars would start parking by their own? The only thing that amazed me is the fact that no one was even impressed by that innovation.

    Things move extremly fast in the IT field. It's not just about iPhones or Galaxy or whatever. Most of the innovations aren't even revealed to the public. The issue is that innovation isn't controlled at all and our society isn't even ready for these concepts. We wouldn't even be able to use their full potential and we don't even have the needed time to think about how to integrate them in the best way. Our institutions need decades to adapt themselves, while technologies become obsolete in a matter of years, or even months in some cases. It would take at least 20 years for governments to fit the educational system to today's realities, so we could most certainly expect decades of employment mismatches and structural unemployments. The same happens in the IT security. Governements can't even figure out how to protect the governmental software or data, while hackers find new ways to breach the security each week. But even if they could figure that out, they don't have the necessary funds. We are talking in terms of trillions in new investments and perhaps only 95% of these funds would be used correctly. When corporations started to adopt computers in the 80-90ies, about 80% (don't remember the exact rate) of the funds were completely wasted, so we could expect at least the same for governements.
    May 28 09:42 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google's next moves for self-driving cars: no steering, pedals [View news story]
    I'd love to have an option on my regular car so that it would "self-drive", but I doubt that I'd buy a car without pedals or steering. The most important question is not just security, a lot of people love driving.
    It's important to notice however, that this kind of projects are going to hit the employment market very hard. All the public transportation is going to be completely transformed. Professions like bus drivers, train drivers, taxi drivers, chauffeurs, etc. will be replaced by machines. Then eventually, pilots, ship crews, but also postmen, deliverers and garbagemen are going to be replaced by informatics. Low qualified workers are going to be the first to be dismissed and it's going to create a terrible social and economical situation. According to The Economist 49% of jobs will be able to be replaced by computers by 2030 (just 16 years from now). I doubt that the economical profits coming from self-driving cars are going to be sufficient to compensate that loss. We can't go against the pace of the future, but we should move much more carefully, cause at this point we create new problems instead of settling them.
    May 28 07:11 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FT: Errors place doubt on Piketty's theory about rising inequality [View news story]
    About a month ago FT published an article claiming that in 10-15 years from now the world is going to have its first trillionaire, but besides that, FT is absolutely right, there is no evidence of increasing wealth inequality whatsoever. Either FT serves its masters, either FT economists bought their degrees and never leave their uptown parties since then, cause an economist must be completely blind or biased to claim that inequalities don't increase all over the world.
    May 25 08:19 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft launches 12" Surface Pro 3 with Intel Core CPUs [View news story]
    Yep, that's why Mac sales increase year after year, while PC sales stagnate and drop. There is no canibalisation of Macs by tablets. At some point MSFT should face the reality and stop trying to become a hardware company. The most important point of this article is "not an iPad-killer, but a niche product". A lot of write offs to come next year. Nokia's acquisition ink isn't even dry yet and they should already prepare themselves to get back to Earth. Buying a struggling hardware company without patents and just licenses payed at the highest market price is just ridiculous.
    May 20 04:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple settles with Motorola, will work with Google on patent reform [View news story]
    Seppo,

    What a pity that Nokia wasn't able to make any cash with its own patents and innovations by integrating them into their own hardware... What can I say, there will always be labour nerds like Wosniak who will invent brilliant but completely useless technologies and one out of one billion geniuses like Jobs who will know exactly how to use these nerds and their inventions and make billions out of them. I have much more respect for Samsung who steals technologies to make cash, rather than for Nokia, who spends billions in R&D, invent amazing stuff and aren't even able to monetize it. How many 40mp Lumias did they sell already?
    May 17 03:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Ignored Junk, BlackBerry Just Piled In It [View article]
    It's not like if BBRY had many options left on the table. They can sell cheaper models or they can shutdown their devices division. I hope that their Foxconn deal allowed them to increase their margins, cause otherwise we are a couple of quarters away from the day when BBRY will start selling their few models to corporations and governments only (which might be much better for them).
    May 13 08:54 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gazprom threatens to stop gas shipments to Ukraine on June 3 [View news story]
    Just brilliant! So at least 3/4 of the international aid to Ukraine will go directly into the Russian pockets. How clever is that? I suppose that the transitional Ukrainian government will immediately split the commission with Putin. Why would they change the good old fashions... EU and the US should stop sticking their noses in Arab and Easter European counties' internal affairs, cause no matter what, they end up by making fools of themselves. Things get systematically worse and we end up spending our tax revenue on these notorious crooks.
    May 12 02:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kuwait signs $12B LNG supply deal with Shell, $3B with BP [View news story]
    No, seriously?
    May 12 02:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple + Beats: Cutting Through The Hype And Negativity [View article]
    6228371,

    Let me explain it from the marketing point of view. You come to an electronics store to pick some random headphones (or anything else). You don't know a thing about headphones, just like 90% of the customers. You see Beats going from 250 to 450 and you say to yourself "Wow, these must be some awesome headphones!". Then you see Sennheiser, Bose, Sony,... with price ranges going from 20 to 600 and there are two things going in your mind. First of all, you are scared to buy the expensive models cause you're afraid to overpay or to be able to buy them for $50 in a year or so. On the other hand, you see the cheap models and you start thinking that the brand isn't as good as you though and the first reaction is that if there are ok models for 30-50 then people don't buy them, so they are trash. The same thing goes for cars, an expensive Citroen won't sell well because of the cheaper models and people's stereotype that the brand is cheap.

    Now I don't know any professional musicians at all and there aren't that much musicians in the world, or to be more precise there aren't a lot of musicians who could afford expensive headphones. However I know dozens of people who own Beats. They don't know a thing about music, they just know that Beats are expensive, good looking and trendy. And that's the only thing that matters for an average Joe. All I can say is that Beats found the golden middle. You can't earn money by selling $10k headphones and you can't earn by selling $30 crap. Today you earn more money by offering a high scale "illusionary luxurious" products, just like Apple and Beats do.

    PS: I own Sennheiser Momentum myself.
    May 11 01:33 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple + Beats: Cutting Through The Hype And Negativity [View article]
    Sennheiser is a plastic boring €30-50 trash. They offer better specs, but they aren't trendy and aren't popular at all. 5 year old Beats models are never discounted. They are being sold for €250-450 and people buy them like if there was no tomorrow. Transforming Sennheiser into Beats would be impossible even for Apple, but making Beats better (if it's actually necessary cause customers buy them anyway) would be a peace of cake for Apple.
    In my opinion market positioning, marketing, consumer reception and sales growth are way more important than buying unpopular companies like Senheiser, Bose, Koss, Sony or Philips.
    May 11 09:11 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple + Beats: Cutting Through The Hype And Negativity [View article]
    It's hard to tell how much a tech company worth nowadays. Things shift extremely quickly and that's where you see that inflation is computed really poorly in our economy. With price tags such as $1B for Waze, $1B for Instagram, $4.5B for Snapchat and $19B for WhatsApp book sheets don't have any importance at all.

    Beats has over a billion in revenue and a +60% marketshare. We can easily say that it's a tremendous company with loyal customers and an excellent image, so in my opinion it does worth $3B. Could Apple buy it for less a year ago? Of course! But unfortunately, when people know that you have $150B in cash, any acquisition will have a huge premium. Since 2006 Beats released only one refresh, they never offer any discounts and still their sales grow year after year. Imagine what Beats could become if Apple would start releasing new models once a year during their keynotes. Apple showed us that they have the ability to revolutionize any tech product.

    Beats made of their headphones a lifestyle fashion accessory and even Swiss watch makers try to take profit from that success. Hublot (among others) for instance released limited edition golden headphones with a thousands of dollars price tag. In the same way Apple transformed mp3, phone or tablet markets, Beats transformed the headphones market so for me it's great match.

    What I find incredible is that markets were much more enthusiastic and comprehensive when Facebook purchased WhatsApp - a profitless startup. Besides that, unlike Apple, Facebook doesn't even have $19B to spend!
    May 11 09:01 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
287 Comments
697 Likes