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  • "Come on. This is farce," says tech legal site Groklaw, incredulous Apple-Samsung jurors took only 21 hours to deliberate over a 700-question form one lawyer says would take him 3 days to understand. Groklaw is also unimpressed with contradictory statements from jurors, several verdict inconsistencies, and the fact jurors reached a decision without reading a 109-page instruction form (.pdf). Some lawyers are predicting this case will reach the Supreme Court, due to the issues it raises about UI and design patents. (more[View news story]
    The crap is flying through the air in connection with the Apple/Samsung court decision. Bottom line: Samsung copied Apple on a fast uncreative track and has been caught at it. Anyone who thinks Samsung has a case is probably short Apple.
    Aug 25 10:10 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mobile app stores will generate $25B in revenue this year and 35% of this total ($8.8B) will involve tablet apps, predicts ABI. iOS (AAPL), whose monetization edge over Android (GOOG) is well-documented, is expected to account for 65% of sales - assuming  a 30% cut, that translates into $4.88B in revenue for Apple. Android is seen accounting for 27% of revenue ($2B for Google), and all other platforms 8%. ABI predicts iOS will make up 33% of smartphone downloads and 75% of tablet downloads, and Android 58% and 17%. [View news story]
    Whatever the details of APPL operations and outlook, this kind of Alpha comment is among the few that reflect on the actual value of AAPL. Morgan Stanley's explanation that growth mutual funds have been shucking out AAPL as no longer being a growth stock makes sense, but its severe devaluation is more a market phenomenon that a reflection of value.
    Everyone is throwing darts at AAPL, but they will over time have to admit that it is one of the greatest companies of our era.
    Mar 14 07:07 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on the Goldman downgrade of Apple (AAPL): Believing an imminent dividend hike/share repurchase could set a floor under the stock price, Goldman is less optimistic about the "timing and impact" of the next product cycle - needed if the stock is going to be an outperformer over the coming year. "The stock's upside potential should be more limited than we previously anticipated." Shares +0.25% premarket. [View news story]
    Goldman's history re: AAPL reminds me of a quote from Lenin at the height of the Russian revolution: "I must find where the people are going, so I can lead them."
    Apr 2 09:11 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This morning's spike in shares of Westport Innovations (WPRT +7.6%) on takeover speculation gains momentum into the close. Chatter centers around potential interest from Cummins (CMI +0.3%), already involved in a JV that accounts for much of WPRT's medium-term profits. [View news story]
    Westport has a broader line of nat gas engines than does Cummins and has close ties with several OEMs. They are already joined at the hip and Cummins can easily afford to make it 100 percent, benefiting shareholders of both companies.
    Feb 15 04:10 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "The hype concerns us, as it sounds vaguely familiar to another decade," says Oracle Research's Laurence Balter, explaining his downgrade of Apple (AAPL -1.4%). Balter is also worried about slowing sales growth, high expectations, and margin risks related to Apple's rumored entry into the TV and set-top box markets. [View news story]
    The problem with AAPL is not the law of large numbers or the possibility of lower margins. The problem is that some observers prefer to be contrarian. Someday, they will be right, but not right now.
    Aug 21 06:16 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Apple buys Bluetooth chipmaker, possibly for iWatch efforts [View news story]
    The stock market, with its emotional fix on the short term, has been ignoring that AAPL has a lot going on beneath the headlines. With their cash and their massive R and D, AAPL is both a Blue Chip and a powerful growth stock. Grow up, Market.
    Aug 1 05:35 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Caterpillar's (CAT -1.5%) retail sales of machines -13% Y/Y in three months to February vs -12% in three months to January, with AsiaPacific -26% in Dec-Feb, North America -12%, EMEA -9%, Latin America +3%. Power Systems sales -7% in February period, as in January period; electric power -8%, industrial -25%, transport +15%, petroleum -8%. (PR[View news story]
    What bothers me about CAT results and outlook is the implication for the world economy. Is CAT telling us that world growth is seriously in decline? I think the message is clear: the bullishness of investment advisors and brokers is self-serving and not reflective of the real situation.
    Mar 20 10:03 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE reportedly sells apartment portfolio to Blackstone [View news story]
    GE is cleaning up its act, selling non-core assets and boosting their growth opportunities. Turning a battleship around takes time, but they will probably succeed.
    Aug 12 05:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Street showed no mercy to Nuance (NUAN -18.5%) in response to its EPS miss and forecast for multiple quarters of weakness in healthcare and EMEA sales. Goldman thinks Nuance's goal of $1B in FY13 healthcare sales is now at risk, and Needham (downgrading to Hold) is concerned about guidance for a 200-250 bps FY13 gross margin drop, worse than a prior forecast. Management suggested on the earnings call it's counting on clinical documentation software sales and PC/mobile OEM deals to drive future growth. [View news story]
    When NUAN fell more than eighteen percent, it more than took into account the outlook for the company, reflecting the fragile psychology of traders in this market. It is still the same company, dominant in its field and with a bright long term future.
    Feb 9 10:39 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Freeport's (FCX) mega-deal for McMoRan (MMR) and Plains (PXP) looks "incestuous" to Jim Mueller: Just for starters, PXP owns 31.5% of MMR and CEO James Flores sits on its board; MMR CEO Jim Bob Moffett is chairman of FCX; B.M. Rankin, a co-founder of FCX with Moffett, sits on MMR’s board. With such a web of relationships, how much independent due diligence was done in reaching the deal? [View news story]
    The deal has a dubious smell. Somebody, tell us why it is worthwhile for FCX shareholders.
    Dec 5 05:36 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In its conference call on the purchase of McMoRan (MMR +82.2%) and Plains Exploration (PXP +26.1%), Freeport McMoRan's (FCX -13.5%) Richard Adkerson says the deal is an add-on to its mining business and not a diversion from current strategy, and FCX will continue to look for new mining opportunities. With margins and cash flows strong, FCX anticipates continuing its current dividend. [View news story]
    When a company pays the average target price for companies that are not doing well, there has to be a loss of value to the acquirer, which will hopefully be made up over the next year, but a markdown of the acquirer is called for. For patient investors, FCX is promising, but this will not be a near-term, or even medium-term winner. I would stand aside and look to buy when the timing may be more favorable.
    Dec 5 12:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp (MCP +15.7%) soars, taking the rest of the rare earth sector with it (AVL +6.2%, REE +11%, REMX +1.7%). Traders describe the move as the continuation of a short squeeze in Molycorp - whose shares dropped below 6 in mid-November after being in the mid-30s 7 months earlier. Adding fuel is a report Interactive Brokers has said there is insufficient stock available for short sales. [View news story]
    Thank you, Manxbuilder, for laying out the charges against the system. You should add high frequency trading to the list, which distorts the market and hurts average investors. If regulators and Congress were capable of independent action, these abuses would have been long ago remedied.
    Dec 10 02:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • More on Apple: Cash balance stood at $121.3B at end of FQ4. 4.9M Macs shipped (+1% Y/Y). iPhone (main profit engine) units +58% Y/Y and revenue +56% (up from +28% and +22% in FQ3). iPad units +26% and revenue +9%, a major slowdown partly caused by inventory changes. Mac desktop units -24%, notebooks +9%. iPod units -19% and revenue -26%. Implied iPhone ASP of $636 ($625 in FQ3), iPad ASP of $536 ($538 in FQ3). Apple has resumed trading and is down 0.9% AH - some bad news was clearly priced in. CC at 5PM ET (webcast). [View news story]
    The stock is dominated by a lot of ignorant people, many of them high speed traders who serve as parasites on the auction process. In the case of AAPL, the only smart course is to focus of the actual results of their business and on the outlook for the Christmas quarter and beyond.
    The bears have their own motives and their own tactics: the rest of us will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the AAPL juggernaut.
    Oct 25 05:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu does his best to defend Apple (AAPL -0.2%) in the face of its recent selloff. Supply chain checks indicate iPhone 5 demand remains strong and production appears to be improving, though Wu thinks lead times remain fixed at 3-4 weeks. He believes a consensus for 17M-18M FQ4 (Sep. quarter) iPad sales could prove high, but argues there could be upside to FQ1 estimates thanks to the iPad Mini. (Nomura[View news story]
    There has to be a large number of short sellers in AAPL, and they are busy on line to poor mouth the company. When the current sinking spell reverses course, the stock could move up very fast. It's not the fundamentals that are hurting the stock; it's Casino.
    Oct 9 03:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • It takes quite a crystal ball to see three years into the future, even for Caterpillar (CAT), so investors may want to look closely at CAT’s near-term concerns. On that score, CAT told analysts this week that dealer inventory reductions are ahead of expectations and could result in lower FY12 revenue guidance by ~$2B. One positive note: CAT said it won't reduce the dividend, even in a downturn. [View news story]
    If this were an investors' market, the news on CAT would not be so bad. Unfortunately, this is a computer driven traders' market, where value is secondary to headlines, short term trends and short selling algorithms.
    If you have courage for this kind of market and you are an investor, you could do a lot worse that CAT. Good luck.
    Sep 25 08:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment