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  • A Sneak Peek At Apple's Earnings [View article]
    Things may be completely different this time. Morgan Stanley strong buy rec on AAPL from two days ago speaks volumes. They are a truly respected voice, and usually right. I always listen to MS's David Darsh end of day Fridays on MSNBC. He always seems to be right on top of the current-next trend. If he says "we are buying AAPL", that means billions are flowing into this stock now, and many many funds will follow suit. And if AAPl lifts its dividend to rival MSFT and INTC, expect a lot of value and income funds and investors to come out of those stocks and into AAPL. AAPL is simply safer with a bigger upside and very low downside. AAPL is simply not going to go down more than 5%, all things considered. MSFT could easily go down 25%.

    MSFT went up this year for only one reason, because the are shaking things up and that might unlock value. Maybe. But they have basically failed at mobile, and spend a lot trying. Ditto INTC in different ways, and both are in trouble with gradually sinking PC and Windows sales. That trend may be a permanent one, little by little every year.

    Mark Zuckerburg is busy burning through all the free money Wall St gave him to play with, but if mobile ad revs are falling for GOOG they are also for FB, and both have the same business model, give away services online in exchange for personal data-mining to create targeted ads. Madison Ave bought in big this past year, but they seem to be getting more and more sceptical. Ask yourself after all? Do you ever respond to those personal data-mined ads? Personally, they annoy me as I know my privacy is being violated to create them.
    Apr 19 08:20 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Sneak Peek At Apple's Earnings [View article]
    I predict Apple will get more aggressively self-promotional on Wednesday than usual. They have a lot to crow about, and expect them to do some of that. When they gave low easily beatable guidance for this quarter 3 months ago, they set themselves up for an easy beat, especially since China Mobile sales (whether huge or just very good) kicked in right about that time and it was also Chinese New Year. We can also expect impressive growth numbers in other seldom-mentioned areas of the world like latin America and the Middle East.

    If afterhours traders try and sell off on good or pretty good news like the last few times, be ready to buy, because Apple will be buying and if history of any indicator, those sell-offs are the best easy money buys since Wall St actually punished Apple for being the biggest cash machine on the planet.

    Plus, remember that all Apple's main competitors are sucking wind now. Maybe their stock prices haven't shown it yet but Samsung, Google, Microsoft etc all have serious problems trying to compete with Apple. In fact they along with Blackberry have basically failed. And now that you can get Office on a Mac, why buy a Surface? etc.

    For the past year, Big tech investors have been preferring GOOG, FB, MSFT and others, but not AAPL. Expect that to change fast. The news that GOOG's mobile ad revenues are fading means Madison Ave is no longer so keen on dumping billions into Android and Facebook when they could be advertising on IOS and finding more affluent tech-active consumers there. IOS users are said to spend as much as ten times the amount of money online as an Android user, and this is why unit sales numbers are irrelevant to Apple if the device costs under $500. They don't want or need low income consumers, the types who buy feature phones and cheap Google Chrome books. Those customers seldom spend a dime online. Apple makes the best and wants only the best customers. And those customers are also the most loyal the world has ever known. Once in IOS almost always always in IOS for life. No competitor has any credible way of changing their either.
    Apr 19 08:19 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Earnings Preview: Fiscal 2014 Tough; Fiscal 2015 Looking Better [View article]
    Of course the Apple hater's facts are all wrong. "Buybacks are the only thing they have going?" lol How about total domination of the premium above $500 global market in smart phones (see Samsung's latest dismal earnings report) and very soon domination of the $800 and above computer market once they release their $800 Mac Air, which you can already get for $999.

    The fact is, Apple is letting others have the lower to medium markets, and that is where the fierce cut-throat competition and falling margiunsare and will be. But on the top tier of quality and profit margins, Apple now has virtually no competition. Samsung has fallen back, Blackberry is gone, and Moto and Nokia never made a dent. So who else is their so-called competition?

    Also, to try an vilify Tim Cook is really unfair. He has presided over the largest most profitable product release rollouts in world history and has been almost flawless. And when he made an error in Maps, he fixed it. Notice who spotted the "Loch Ness monster", Apple maps. That is great PR too.

    PR though has been Cook's one weak point. Except for a few times, he has not made defending Apple from enemies and unfair critics a priority. But understand, the Apple culture does not include fretting about everything Wall St does, nor does it include brash self promotion or negative advertising. Cook should have acted 2-3 months earlier last year when the stock price was bombing. But I think he has learned his lesson to some degree. He did hire a specialist in amping up shareholder value to be his top financial officer. Buying back 15 billion worth last Q was evidence of this, and expect some nice goodies in Wednesday as well.

    In any case, this stock is so cheap and undervalued now that it should go up dramatically almost no matter what happens next. As Carl Icahn says, even with no growth the stock is worth 650, and there is growth now, plenty of it, and sustainable for a long time to come.
    Apr 19 08:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Earnings Preview: Fiscal 2014 Tough; Fiscal 2015 Looking Better [View article]
    Apple is coming out with a bigger iPhone later this year. That should put a nail in the coffin of the Samsung Galaxy or force them to lower prices and margins further.

    Tyhe phablet type phone is popular but only in certain circles, importantly in Asia, which is why Apple is coming out with one, but also with big people.

    I once witnessed two parents at Verizon store trying to convince their son to let them buy him a Samsung phablet instead of an iPhone to save a little money. The boy refused, dissing the big clunky unit, and preferring the sleek hand-sized iPhone which is much cooler.

    Recently, Samsung hired Lebron James (at huge cost) to help them target the large dude and African American market. Maybe that is a niche they can carve out, but otherwise, almost anyone who is going to spend $600 would prefer an iPhone to anything Android, and large size is not always an advantage. Plus, didn't Samsung recently admit it had to cut back on phablet manufacturing due to slow demand?
    Apr 19 08:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Earnings Preview: Fiscal 2014 Tough; Fiscal 2015 Looking Better [View article]
    I disagree that this is a good article, actually, it appears to hedge way too much, grossly undererestimate Apple and buy into the disproven mantra amongst bears that Apple has stalled, has no growth, is no longer cool, no innovations, etc. That is the message Samsung and its allies spent billions on last year to try and drum into public consciousness. And it was all phony baloney.

    Besides, as Carl ICahn stated, even if Apple had no growth, it would still be worth $650 per share just based on real fundamental value. right now it is priced at negative growth which is the opposite of what is happening in the real world.

    In the real world, apart from a long product cycle gap last summer when Samsung was particularly aggressive, Apple has never stopped growing. Just look at its mountain of cash, the real barometer. It has steadily grown about 10 billion per quarter even after all the buybacks and R+D and dozens of smaller acquisitions. And soon they will have a billion IOS users, each worth an average of $1000 in profits apiece.

    Right now, Apple is really firing on all cylinders and truly the competition in the premium market where Apple is has been soundly defeated. That means Samsung and all the rest. As Samsung reluctantly admitted just a week ago in their poor earnings report.

    Yes, you may still see expensive Android and Windows products at Best Buy, but who is buying them? If people are going to spend $600 for a smart phone or $1000+for a laptop, they are going to go with the Apple. Because they are better, and every day, IOS pulls ahead of Android. Android is in trouble now. And Windows is noticeably inferior.

    Google admits Android needs an entire overhaul. Samsung wants out of Android and wants its own eco system. And with falling mobile ad revenue, the botched Motorola acquisition plus the fact they give away Android, can Google really afford the billions it would take to make Android anywhere near as good as IOS? Just look at where all the best developers are going, not to Android, but to IOS.

    Also, do not forget that Apple may have a strong copyright infringement case against Android itself. The memos coming out of the Samsung case show Samsung and Google colluding to rip off the iPHone and IOS both at the same time. And remember Steve Jobs last words. He intended to take Android down. And while the legal process takes a long time, Google knows that just might happen. In fact that is why they bought Motorola, for patents to protect them in court. But the judge threw those out and two weeks later Motorola was sold for a pittance to novo.

    GOOG , MSFT and FB shareholders beware. This is not your year. THis is AAPL's year. The opposite of last yer in fact.
    Apr 19 07:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Earnings Preview: Fiscal 2014 Tough; Fiscal 2015 Looking Better [View article]
    Correction, Tim Cook has presided over Apple for about four years now and the stock has doubled in that time. I bought it in 2008 for $70 per share. In 2009 I bought more for $140. Soon after that Steve Jobs found out he was dying and picked Tim Cook to replace him until by 2011 Steve was not really running Apple at all.

    The stock made its really big move two years ago when Tim Cook was firmly in charge. It went from 300 to 700 very quickly, too quickly in fact as it then boomeranged back to 400. That fall was based on technical overbought condition, but also false negative assumptions, a huge dirty PR and disinformation war by Samsung and other Apple enemies (including perhaps corrupt brokerage houses) and the mere fact that Apple is silent and secretive most of the time and does not respond to Wall ST, until very recently when that changed. That fall IMHO was engineered to loot and rob AAPL shareholders, as AAPL had become the #1 most popular stock for ordinary investors to buy, as well as fund managers who are always prone to dumping at the bottom due to the fact they dont like to be seen as holding "losers". Since then, AAPl is up 125 points and provided Wednesday brings good news we would finally be off to the races. This stock is extremely oversold and it has more real value that is not priced into the stock than any on earth.

    Steve Jobs would never have done anything about the stock price. He would not have approved buybacks. And it is also very doubtful that he would have invented an entirely new game-changing product category. His final thoughts seem to be more about taking TV to the next level, but to do that you need proprietary bandwidth no one else has plus premium content deals. The rumored Comcast deal may be just that but like China Mobile, it takes time as the infrastructure first needs to be built out.
    Apr 19 03:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dispelling Market Misconceptions Of Apple [View article]
    This is a bad coming year and week for Google. First, they blow the Motorola acquisition and will have to write off 7-8 billion, getting nothing in return but a piece of novo. They miss earnings this month, pretty badly considering their super high PE and super dominant growth expectations. Blamed are falling mobile ad prices. That is the only thing they make money on. Advertisers are probably rushing over to IOS which has customers with lots more money to spend.
    Android is a huge headache now. It it given away for free. And it has fallen way behind IOS quality-wise. Apple may indeed sue them for copyright infringement once the Samsung trial is over. Evidence is coming out in that trial that Google ripped off IOS just as Samsung ripped off the iPhone, in collusion. Bing and Yahoo want to replace Google Search on IOS. Samsung declares poor high-end sales despite record ad buys and arrogantly cloaiming they are the next big thing. . And today APple Maps the supposed second best out-did Google maps in spotting the Loch Ness Moniter which probably was always a whale shark of some kind, but a huge one.

    If Apple has good earnings, growth news, dividend hike, product and buyback news next week, this stock if off to the races, and a lot of the new buyers will be coming out of GOOG, FB, MSFT, INTC and IBM, all companies with higher PE's but dimmer prospects. I predict AAPl will lead all major tech stocks for the next 18 months and be the institutional new (and old ) favorite. And why not? They did it, they won. They are dominant now. No one can touch Apple at the top of the hill. They own it now.
    Apr 18 10:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dispelling Market Misconceptions Of Apple [View article]
    The past is the past, but I have studied last year's big fall of AAPL stock and here is my opinion about why AAPL fell from 700 - 400.

    1) Technicians told us then it was overbought, up too quickly and due for a drop and cooling off and basing. But 300 points down did not seem possible or having anything to do with common sense.
    2) Samsung attacked Apple after Job's death (as their internal memos prove) in a huge ruthless campaign with paid bloggers and the the biggest ad buy in corporate history, 14 billion worth.
    3) Samsung and many others were terrified of Apple as an existential threat and I believe that massive group of powerful enemies and their Wall St allies colluded to try and attack, loot and pillage Apple once Jobs was gone.
    4) Disinformation campaign non-stop from Apple enemies and bears, but Apple never defended itself (as if their way) and so it was like a political campaign where only one side advertises and does so very negatively. It created false beliefs and irrational negative sentiment that still has not been dispelled (but will soon, I bet now that Samsung, Blackberry, Nokia and Motorola are all on the ropes, and Google too missed earnings again).
    5) Apple's response was too late and was sold on, that is the 60 billion buyback and dividend hike announcement. Wall St took it as a negative somehow and sold the stock after hours down 50 points, remember?
    6) Lemming like Brokerage mentality. As soon as AAPL fell and one analyst downgraded them, they all started too, in a big irrational rush. Many downgraded at 400 when they should have been buying all they could.
    7) Apple plays the long game, and does not want to react to short term glitches. They do need much better PR, a war room really to dispel false stories and rumors, but their sights were set on 2015 I believe by which time they plan to have a billion IOS users and completely control the top tier of mobile and personal and enterprise computing, and then they spread out from there into all types of connected businesses.
    8) Steve Jobs was furious about Windows being ripped off from Apple, and vowed never again, so super secrecy became the rule. So now, we do not get specifics on new Apple products until the moment they are released. That can play into bears hands for awhile as they spread false stories that "Apple has no innovation or new products". Meanwhile Samsung rushes out a copy or pre-copy of anything Apple does or might do as fast as possible. but who wins in the end, the tortoise or the hare?
    9) Brokerage houses have made big time errors trying to calculate and predict what Apple is accomplishing. They were wrong about falling margins, fierce competition at the top, Android taking over (in cheaper devices only as it turned out), telcos squeezing Apple. Apple no longer being cool, the value of CHina Mobile and 55 million vs 51 million iPhones sold affecting profits (profits went up and beat). And them like lemming they parrot each other.
    10) Wall St also is wrong about Apple's competition. They gave GOOG a 40 PE when GOOG is very vulnerable now to a low-growth from falling mobile ad revenues, the Motorola debacle and all the whacky acquisitions. Same with Facebook. GOOG and FB give away their products. Great companies that do not make great profits. They are also wrong about Microsoft resurging. WHo knows what they have or will do? So MSFT went up 40% and AAPL did nothing. GOOG and FB doubled and AAPL did nothing. Which may be all about to change in a very big way.
    Apr 18 06:02 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: The Case Against A Dividend Increase [View article]
    Apple can easily afford to do all of the above: dividend hike, more massive buybacks and strategic acquisitions and infrastructure build-outs. They may now have 170 billion in cash as they seem to add 10 billion per quarter in excess of what they need. A wonderful problem to have, and one Wall St has yet to give them any credit for, amazingly, as I thought Wall St valued cash and profits.

    Dividend hikes are valuable because we need more institutional buying, a lot more in fact, and many institutions as well as retiree types focus on dividends first as a way of stockpicking. Microsoft and Intel have higher dividends, but Apple is a much better faster growing company than either, so hiking the dividend to about 2.75% would succeed no doubt in luring away a lot of money from those two older tech stocks. PLus, shorts hate dividends as they are forced to pay them, and it would be a good idea to make it as expensive as possible for them. Plus, dividends are simply a very nice thing to get and reward investors for waiting.

    I believe AAPL should be a $900 stock based on real world value right now. But a 400 point climb may take time. It certainly won't happen overnight . Therefore, if it takes two years to reach $800-$900, then why not reward shareholders for being patient?

    We may not have long to wait for a sizeable pop though. Despite the weird and irrational negative sentiment toward AAPL for the last 16 months, that seems to be about to change with the massive new roll-outs coming soon, and also the fact that Apple has effectively beaten all competition In the premium end of the mobile and computing markets, which is HUGE.

    Bears poo-poo'ed the news last month that Apple already owns 80% of the premium smart phone market in China. That disproves their wrong thesis that unit sales are what counts, including every cheap feature phone or Google Chrome or poor quality knock-off available in the alleyways of third world marketplaces. It is like comparing BMW and Mercedes to motorized rickshaws.

    This dominance of the top end explains why Apple's free cash and profits continue to grow even if unit sales sometimes look a little light. Stats show that one premium IOS customer is worth about $1000 in profit to Apple (with upgrades etc.) while one cheap low-end Android or Windows customers
    may be worth as little as $20 in profit, but on average probably no more than $100. So one IOS customer = 10 Android customers re profit.

    I bought a Google Chrome for $210 as a gift for a child and the mini computer broke down after one year, after data-mining her, uselessly, since she has no credit card and doesn't spend a dime online. She is now very unhappy and will not want another Samsung-Google product. Plus the fact Google probably makes no profit at all from those devices, nor does Amazon from Kindle Fires. In fact they may lose money selling them.

    You can now see Google and Samsung have both missed earnings badly. PLus Microsoft may be about to write off Nokia and Blackberry is effectively out of the business as a handset maker. So basically now, APPLE HAS NO COMPETITION. And at these cheap prices for AAPL, you can take that news to the bank. And many people will, and many more will if the dividend is hiked.
    Apr 18 01:36 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dispelling Market Misconceptions Of Apple [View article]
    Absolutely right-on correct article. IN fact, this is the only article you need to read to evaluate Apple and how much upside there is to this beaten down and strangely maligned stock.

    Let me add a few important facts: Apple now controls 80% of the Chinese premium smart phone market and probably more of the profits. They have already won and will keep winning in the only game they play, the best quality products which yes do cot more but are well worth it.

    The entire China Mobile deal expansion underway has not been priced into this stock at all. And neither have the enormous stock buybacks. No good news has for more than a year. In fact while Google has missed earnings in three of the four last quarters and failed badly with their Motorola purchase, their stock doubled, while all the good news of Apple's resulted in the stock going nowhere.

    Wall St gave Apple no credit when it was known Tim Cook was in the Middle East striking new deals. Why was he there? Because now that Blackberry is done, security conscious Middle Easterners need new phones, and IOS is proven to be more secure than Android, not to mention faster and better. SO Apple and IOS will inherit Blackberry's former customers en masse.

    Downgrading Wall St analysts falsely claimed Apple's margins would fall, that telcos would bully them into submission and that without a cheap iPhone they couldn't compete. They were all wrong.

    Bears and naysayers have been claiming that Apple has no new innovations. But they fail to see the big picture. Apple is busy successfully dominating the top 30% of the market so they will soon have a bilion IOS users. And once they have that, who happen to be the wealthiest users as well, then they can leverage that into any area they want, including home entertainment, gaming, mobile payments, wearables, home, car, etc. and they wil also attract more and more lucrative ads from Madison Ave while Google and facebooks's low end user base will be proven to spend very little online, so why spend so much advertising to them?

    Samsung is in trouble. They bet the farm after Steve Jobs died that they could rip off Apple then use their ginormous 14 billion ad spend and very corrupt payola schemes to journalists and bloggers to take over the top spot. But they failed. Why? Because they are Android devices. Because they not Apple are the ones with less innovation. And because they simply are not cool so their profit margins are low and no one is wiling to pay extra for their brand name.

    Apple has the most valuable brand name in the world. Anything you put the Apple logo on is worth twice as much as before. The only brand that comes close is Disney and that is for kids only. Even better, stats show Apple suers are super loyal and addicted to IOS and almost none ever leave. Meanwhile, last Christmas alone, 40% of new Apple buyers were switching from Android.

    Android is in trouble. It has fallen behind. It is fine for cheap devices, but is sliding further and further behind IOS as Apple emphasizes frequent upgrades and all Google can do it try to re-name it "Kit Kat" for some odd reason, hoping the name attracts women as they found out Android was a turn-off to females.

    Apple's mountain of cash enables almost unlimited flexibility. Whatever they want, they can buy. They could even take the entire company private. Or buy all the content in Hollywood. Or boost their dividend to 10%. Anything.
    And they will do something big sooner or later. They have no choice after all.

    So we should all be super optimistic about AAPl now, especially since it is so damn cheap and beaten down, and never for any real or good reasons.
    Apr 17 08:36 PM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Laptop Opportunity [View article]
    The fact is everyone is willing to spend more for an Apple. Is is worth it.
    So assuming they follow through with a $999 Macbook later this year, that should so gangbuster business and deeply cut into Microsoft's high end market share amongst the various hardware makers. The key is IOS. It is better than Windows. And now that you can get Office on it too, why go with Windows? for $200 more you can get the best.
    Apr 17 06:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Guru Fund Managers Be Right On Apple Again? [View article]
    Apple will not let this stock go below $500 no matter what after earnings. Remember last time? They bought up single share they could after Wal ST made yet another bone-headed move and drove down AAPL even after good news. Remember AAPl beats estimates last quarter, they did not miss. They missed only on unit sales projections but it truns out those numbers have little to do with earnings, which is the only thing that really counts.

    Also remember the CHina Mobile deal has never been priced into this stock. Nor has a ton of other good news. So we have a stock with a 90% upside and a 5-10% downside. Sounds like the perfect bet to me.
    Apr 17 06:15 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Guru Fund Managers Be Right On Apple Again? [View article]
    Basically the crazy 700-400 drop of AAPL last year made no sense, was a great buying opportunity and a panic attack for holders, and it is also in the past and does not matter. I bought AAPL at $70 during the financial crisis, but that price is irrelevant too. Also now irrelevant and disproven are the old fears that Samsung was beating Apple (they just threw in the towel basically), that Apple profit margins were going to fall (they never did), that unit sales numbers are the key comparisons (they are not unless the devices cost over $500 are are 4G or better).

    What matters now is that AAPL must break out of this trading range above 550 and then 580. If that happens, we could be off to the races because top technicians all agree AAPl has no resistance above 580 and then, supported by new product launches and growth projections, could get not just to 700 again but all the way up to above 900 where IMHO it would finally be fairly valued.

    What we have just see in the markets besides weakness in AAPL has been bad numbers from Google missing earnings yet again (twice last year remember?), Samsung divebombing as they failed to compete against Apple above $500, Blackberry calling it quits in handsets, Google giving up on Motorola and Microsoft predicted to have no choice but to dump Nokia.
    Plus we saw that Apple already controls 80% of the premium market in CHina, and that is where all the profits are. Plus the iWatch and iCar and bigger or cheaper Macs and iPhones are coming and coming soon. Plus, Apple will no doubt announce various uses for its 160 billion in cash which may be 170 billion by now, and that means a higher dividend, more buybacks and maybe some kind of major acquisition.

    Put it all together and AAPL should be the best performing major tech stock in the coming year, and watch out below for GOOG and FB which both have similar business models and which both have lofty unsustainable PE's.
    Apr 17 06:15 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Faces A Problem And Increasing Prices Will Make It Worse [View article]
    Also, always distinguish between market share of units sold and market share of profits made. Apple may sell fewer units but they make far more profits. In fact even if they only have a 20% market share they have something like a 75% share of the profits. And aren't we supposed to value companies oin profitability not widget sales numbers?
    Apr 17 02:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Faces A Problem And Increasing Prices Will Make It Worse [View article]
    If Apple asks $100 more for the top end iPhone they will get it and sell out. History has shown that IOS customers are willing to pay more. But don't forget Apple is also announcing a cheaper iPhone for Europe and a cheaper Mac notebook to take more share from Windows.

    When Apple released iPhoneC ($100 cheaper) and iPhoneS at the same time, everyone bought the S. They had no problem paying $100 more and they won't again so long as the value is there, and it is, especially with Android floundering now, Samsung on the ropes unable tot ruly compete with Apple, and Blackberry gone.
    Apr 17 02:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment