Seeking Alpha

Dean Scarpinato

Dean Scarpinato
Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View Dean Scarpinato's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest comments  |  Highest rated
  • 4 February 'Feel Good' Factors For Apple Fanatics [View article]
    Agreed. Well stated w/a great sense of humor and an efficient use of charts. And someone needs to shine a light on CNBC, Cramer and Lee. There was a time when journalism was an honorable profession.
    Feb 2, 2013. 12:07 PM | 25 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dear Apple Board, This Is How You Defend The Share Price [View article]
    1/15/2013 @ 12:37PM |7,570 views
    Why The WSJ Got The 'iPhone Demand Is Crashing' Story All Wrong
    9 comments, 1 called-out Comment Now
    Follow Comments
    A decade ago, MTV debuted a show called Punk’d in which Ashton Kutcher would play elaborate practical jokes on celebrities before the big reveal at the end of each episode. While the setup isn’t quite the same, it’s possible that Japan’s Nikkei played the role of Kutcher this Sunday and the Wall Street Journal acted as the duped celebrity with a breathless report suggesting iPhone orders are about to fall off a cliff. Apple’s stock has been under a ton of pressure lately, falling about 30 percent from its all-time high and this latest bit of apparent bad news has helped drive it down more, to below $500 a share today.

    It started when the Journal reported: “Apple’s orders for iPhone 5 screens for the first quarter, for example, have dropped to roughly half of what the company had planned to order, the people said.” What’s missing from that quote, however, is what Nikkei originally included and can still be found on Reuters (although no longer on WSJ): “Apple has asked Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display Co Ltd to roughly halve supplies of LCD panels from an initial plan for about 65 million screens in January-March, the Nikkei cited people familiar with the situation as saying.” And that 65 million number we know is completely absurd. Just how absurd? Well, let’s break it down.

    For calendar fourth quarter, the one that just ended, the iPhone forecast is for 43-63 million phones. (Not all of those are iPhone 5s, of course, given that the 4s and 4 are still available.) The median of those estimates is around 49 million and a high estimate would put the iPhone 5 at 40 million of those. Since the latest iPod Touch uses the same screen, it’s possible another 5 million screens would be used in the Christmas quarter for that. So let’s say there is a total need for 45 million screens in the quarter that just ended.

    Every year since the iPhone has launched, Apple has seen some seasonal drop off from the end of the year into the first quarter (what Apple calls Q2, but what is the first calendar quarter). The iPod Touch, in particular, sees a huge drop off. So no matter how strong iPhone 5 is selling, if the company needed 45 million screens last quarter, it would need fewer this quarter. How many? Perhaps 40 million or so. Of course, if Apple had ordered more than it needed last quarter to make sure that it was ahead of the game, it would need fewer still going into winter and might only require 30-35 million. The truth is, we don’t know,, but then neither does Nikkei, or its unnamed sources.

    None of this stopped a credulous WSJ from running the story as front-page news just eight days ahead of Apple’s Jan. 23 earnings announcement. It’s pile-on season for the Cupertino, Calif. consumer-electronics giant, which has apparently “lost its edge” according to most everything you read these days. It’s an interesting spin given that the company sold 37 million iPhones in the holiday quarter this year and even the lowest end of the forecast would be a 20 percent boost to that number. (At 50 million, year-over-year growth would be 35 percent.)

    Nevertheless, the latest rumors about Apple slashing component orders, in fact, come on the heels of supposedly positive developments at competitors. First, we heard “good news” from Nokia, which reported shipments of 4.4 million Lumia phones in the year-end quarter. Never mind that we are talking less than 2 percent market share for Nokia or that sales were boosted by heavy discounting, often down to $99 at retail — less than half what competing phones sell for. This is good news in the land of Nokia. It might not be repeatable as the Windows Phone platform has yet to prove especially popular, but was unequivocally spun as a positive pretty much everywhere it was reported.

    Similarly, Cnet was very excited about Samsung’s announcement that the Galaxy S phone line had crossed the 100 million mark in total sales. The phone is so desirable, “Sales of the flagship Galaxy S3 reached 30 million units in 5 months, and 40 million in 7 months, with average daily sales of about 190,000 units.” You’d think that it’s the hottest thing going with those numbers. Of course, as we were just discussing above, in the quarter just ended, Apple will have sold about as many iPhone 5′s as Samsung has sold Galaxy S3′s in 7 months! This is what the “experts” are already calling trouble and they haven’t seen the numbers yet.

    Now, of course, Samsung is also selling the prior generation S2, which Cnet tells us, “…is described as a steady bet after recording sales of over 40 million in 20 months.” So that’s about 2 million a month for that model to go with the 17 milllion S3 phones Samsung apparently moved in Q3. In other words, if we just compare the last two generations of phones, Apple sold somewhere around 35-45 million last quarter while Samsung moved about 23 million. It’s certainly true that Samsung has a number of less-expensive entry models and will outsell Apple in raw numbers. But when one looks at “profit share” and wonders why Apple will continue to earn more of it in smartphones than Samsung, those numbers tell the story.

    Certainly, if iPhone 5 demand is indeed falling off the cliff that the WSJ claims it is, things will change next quarter. And perhaps Apple’s earnings report next week will tell us more about that. Then we’ll find out who’s really getting punk’d. Less
    Jan 15, 2013. 03:42 PM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL -0.6%) sell-side roundup: 1) CES sources tell Topeka's Brian White a 2nd-gen iPad Mini will be launched in March, along with the expected 5th-gen iPad. 2) Barclays' Ben Reitzes calls new corporate controller Luca Maestri a "champion of shareholder return." Maestri's new boss has already shown an interest in that subject. 3) CLSA and Canaccord become the latest to slash estimates while reiterating bullish stances. Canaccord says checks indicate the iPhone 4 remains popular, something it thinks drives home the value of a cheaper iPhone. [View news story]
    Brian White (Topeka) analyst sticks to $1111 call on CNBC today
    And calls all the pessimism "noise." Today on FM Half, despite Wapner's practically BEGGING him and offering him one of his children to reduce his target, White refused to cave. He stuck by his prediction and declared all the current negative sentiment "noise." Take that, Gartman, Kass, Lee, and Kaminsky. Someone who can stand up to you vultures, looking for Apple's demise. My hats off, Mr. White.
    Jan 11, 2013. 05:33 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL) is taking it on the chin again this morning as chatter about weak iPhone 5 demand in China, and UBS taking its price target on the stock down to $700 from $780 has the shares off 2.2% premarket. [View news story]
    APPL needs to show that it cares for its investors. Thats great that hey are so insulated w/billions of dollars that they can laugh this off over cocktails. But some of us have more than we can lose in here based on our love and belief in the products, the service and the wisdom at the top.

    I've been hanging long here but in case no one has noticed we have broken support and it would be really nice to hear APPL raise guidance or do something other than let us all twist in the wind while they play their cards close to the vest. You know the retail investor should matter to them. Like the fans should matter to a band. And they should issue some statement to renew our faith.
    Dec 14, 2012. 08:44 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Signs Apple Is Topping [View article]
    The best thing anyone can do for their portfolio and their sanity is to turn off CNBC forever. In my opinion, get rid of cable altogether.
    Sep 18, 2012. 10:02 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Stays Rotten [View article]
    OMG This is David Trainer that was on CNBC calling for a 300 PT. LOL You're a special kind of stupid aren't you?
    Sep 23, 2013. 02:24 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dead Company Walking: 5 Reasons BlackBerry 10 Marks The End [View article]
    Just to speak up. as an Apple investor I hate Samsung. Blackberry however I think is a decent company. If they were not competition I would be rooting for them. I hate Samsung's underhanded den of thieves, Kamakazee mentality.

    It seems like RIMM or the company formerly known as Rimm were as decent as you can be in the corporate world. Again, they're the competition so I can't really wish them well. But I don't wish them ill either.
    Feb 4, 2013. 06:37 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Newest Hire Indicates An Impending Dividend Or Share Repurchase Increase [View article]
    A split could also reduce the volatility and take it out of the hands of speculators and manipulators. The wild fluctuations attract the speculators and options players who add to the volatility until we have price movements that do not reflect reality. Real investors deserve to be protected from such uncertainty. A 10 for 1 split means that now the price moves $1 a day instead of $10. The speculators now look elsewhere for their wild day trades.
    Jan 13, 2013. 09:34 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Institutional Slingshot: Rational Explanation Of Irrational Stock Action [View article]
    My portfolio has gone up quite nicely since I stopped watching CNBC. And my Blood Pressure has dropped. Anything you NEED to know you can find. The rest is noise and advertising.

    GREAT ARTICLE JASON!!! You put into succinct well authored words what I have been saying for 56 days.
    Nov 17, 2012. 04:35 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL) is likely to more than double its dividend this year, says Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty after talking to CFO Peter Oppenheimer. Corporate Finance 101: She suggests the company can get around the issue of cash held overseas by funding payouts with low-interest debt rather than repatriation. Shares +0.7% premarket. [View news story]
    Why doesn't Obama fund an asset repatriation program wherein that capital can come back tax free to invest in business and the like on the home front? We'll get a lot more tax revenue by unlocking those over seas dollars and funding jobs.

    And why doesn't Apple take the lead in the Green Revolution. There is the next big thing.
    Feb 22, 2013. 09:26 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL) will ask Judge Koh to impose treble damages (over $3B) on Samsung (SSNLF.PK) in response to last month's huge jury win, "legal sources" (Samsung lawyers?) tell the Korea Times. A hearing regarding Apple's request could took place on Friday - Judge Koh has proven willing to grant many of Apple's requests before, during, and after the trial. [View news story]
    I don't understand some of you people. I just wrote a song called Hey Jude and a book called the Da Vinci Code. Think I can just publish that under my name and suffer no consequences. Samsung is a complete rip-off of the iPhone and they should be put in stocks. Its not a shame in the least that stealing intellectual property is a civil violation punishable by law. Jesus Christ!
    Sep 19, 2012. 10:08 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Apple Exist 3 Years From Now? How Much Will It Be Worth? [View article]
    Let me tell you two things. 1. If petrochemicals do not go out of style in the very near future none of our portfolios will be worth a damn bc we'll all be living in a post apocalyptic world. 2. At that time you can wheel a citibank full of greenbacks to my farm an it won't be worth an ear of corn or a box of bullets.

    There was a world b4 fossil fuels and the US dollar and there will be one after. So invest in Citi, Exon and all the other corporate fascist murderers like MOnsatan. But you're a fool to think $$$ never goes out of style. I've got a wheel barrrel full of Confederates.
    Feb 22, 2013. 09:22 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Most Compelling Reason To Buy Apple Right Now: The Dividend [View article]
    No. Comcast who doesn't want iTV
    Jan 15, 2013. 04:47 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "While more Android devices are being purchased, iOS devices are actually being used," writes VentureBeat's John Koetsier, after seeing Velti data that shows iOS (aided by the iPad) has grown its share of tracked ad impressions to 63%, even as Android grows to make up the lion's share of smartphone sales. Studies on mobile e-commerce activity and app store revenue also back up Koetsier's assertion. Hence the continued developer preference to write for iOS first and Android second. If Google wants to keep its traffic acquisition costs down, it needs to reverse this trend. [View news story]
    I'm not sure where some of you folks live. But I'm in Chicago, 10 minutes away from some of the nations poorest ghettos and 10 minutes away from some of the nations richest and most exclusive neighborhoods. Yesterday I was in Oak Brook, one of the latter. No one, and I mean no one driving a Bentley, Beemer, Mercedes etc has anything but the iPhone 5. And I'm sure we're not talking 16 gig. These folks spend $$$. In fact I went into the Apple Store at Oak Brook Mall and listened to different people dropping thousands without batting an eye. Then I saw outside looking in an over made up type w/hair extensions and fake nails (you know the type?) using, guess what...some piece of junk less than Apple.

    Honda makes bikes that look like Harleys. No Harley man would ride one or be seen w/someone on one. Some vinyl looks like leather. I can get cheap eggs at Walmart or Organic grass fed ones from Whole Foods. I can get Italian pizza or I can get a slice of garbage on the corner. There are some people that pay for quality. And you know what...they tip better. They give you less hassle. They respect the work you're doing bc they actually work.

    I had a friend email me yesterday w/all sorts of complaints over some new Google comp he bought and asked my advice. It was, not surprisingly, buy an Apple and all your problems disappear. Everyone knows this. Those that don't will find out. And now that we're cutting Samsung out of the supply chain they'll have a harder time stealing from us which will only serve to differentiate us more.

    One more thing. The bottom is in. 12-21-12.
    Dec 22, 2012. 10:02 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's Triple Witching Friday [View article]
    Thank you. That tells me all I need to know in a concise well written article.
    Dec 21, 2012. 08:20 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment