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  • Apple Depends On Strong Demand For The iPhone 6 [View article]
    Forty-one APPL articles written in the last year by Mr. Blair that were slanted negative, almost all on marketshare, and not one has made a reader a nickel. Stock up 40%.

    The point is?
    May 6 05:21 PM | 45 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Food Stamp Friday: True Colors [View article]
    I volunteer at our food pantry. People are coming in that you would never believe would require hand-outs. Rather than using this issue as a platform to attack from either side, why not make it a point this week to be generous at your local pantry. Generosity will always make you, and someone else, feel better then self-righteousness.
    Oct 8 10:51 AM | 43 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Stays Rotten [View article]
    Almost all financial analysts don't get technology investing, period. An attempt to value a company only on its ROIC is analogous to chartists that only buy on SMA indicators. Both might actually correlate at times but you have to dig much deeper in a technology firm to see if they are causative.

    On the flip side, most technology fans look at everything but the financials to support their company fanaticism. Apple users have been dismissed in the past as such. But what is missing in the discussions on PC's and mobile phone's market share fervor is the maturation of the market.

    When technology markets first develop they are the domain of the innovator and then move on to the early adopters. PCs moved slowly through these groups and cell phones much more rapidly. Smartphones brought the confluence of these two markets together, merging the somewhat constrained base of the PC into the widely accepted world of the cell market. Apple cleverly read this market shift with the iPhone and iPad. The next stage in the cycle is the market shift to wide adoption.

    My observation is that Apple has positioned its products, hardware, software, services and support to successfully tap this wide adoption phase. They are the only competitor whose brand, retail locations, software, hardware and support put them in a sweet spot to deliver the experience the broad PC/cell/media market desires. Best of all, they have huge financial resources and a culture that will support this maturation cycle. The competitors appear weak in almost every aspect and may even deserve even a lower ROIC than they currently share. Google makes little to no profit on Android and Moto. What might be the ROIC of just that business at Google? What is their plan and strategy to drive it higher?

    The author is right about the eventual outcome in technical company life cycles but badly wrong about where Apple currently is and where it is heading for reasons financial, technical and market driven.

    Very long Apple.
    Sep 23 07:58 AM | 38 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Last Year I Said Sell -- Buy Now? [View article]
    On Feb23rd, 2012 the author wrote a SA article entitled, "Shun Google Until Management Is Replaced." On Feb 22nd, GOOG was 607.94. Yesterday, GOOG closed at 827.61.

    Listen if you like but I would hardly consider that kind of miss slight or credit the author with omniscience.
    Mar 13 09:09 AM | 30 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inventory Risks Loom For Apple [View article]
    I originally published this comment on Valentine's so the numbers need to be updated but not by much. It is "directionally" correct.

    "On June 17, 2013, Michael Blair authored the following positive article on BBRY, "BlackBerry Gaining Share In Key Markets As Market Awaits Q1 Results." In it, he stated he was long at the closing price of $14.30.

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    On June 10, 2013, MB authored the following bear article on AAPL, "Apple Can't Afford To Concede Market Share - I Don't Think It Has To" and stated he was short Appl at $432.

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    Since that time, AAPL has risen to $544, an annualized rate of 34.5% not including eight months of dividends. Meanwhile, BBRY has fallen from $14.30 to $9.00, an annualized rate of -49%."
    Feb 22 09:34 AM | 28 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • You Can Spend Your Way Out of a Recession [View article]
    "By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."

    -- John Maynard Keynes

    No wonder our politicians love Keynes. Taxes without consequences - Priceless!

    The US can only afford 30T of the 60T in debt it has accumulated. The Fed would like to inflate the US out of the 30T by running a 4% inflation over the next 17 years. SInce the CPI will hide a good portion of this inflation and tax increases or can make up a portion, policy makers are hoping to hide this from the world by implementing over a long period. The wild cards? Asian acceptance of this game, no unexpected economic or political events, controlled Congressional spending, and dramatically reduced energy imports.

    Good luck on that list...
    Sep 25 01:17 PM | 26 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Oil Under Serious Threat [View article]
    I've read both sides of the debate in detail. New research is always discovering something about Earth's climate. For a very long time, observers have noted a correlation between sunspots and cold winters in Europe. "Impossible!", others claimed, "The amount of energy released is far too low to effect Earth's temperature. Yet, the correlations continued. Recent discoveries on how cosmic rays affect polar moisture vaporization revealed it to cause dramatic swings in jet streams, causing the dramatic temperature shifts in the Northern latitudes, no heat required.

    Climate is a Chaotic system with perhaps thousands of variables, many out of human control. To claim it responds to linear increases in a single variable will be proven naive, perhaps even completely wrong in the long term. So, I remain unconvinced but not uninterested.

    The debate will not be solved by politicians or climate scientists (inexplicably nonexistent by the way) but by scientific debate. To claim there is none is uninformed.

    Either way, using bullying techniques, such as tin foil hats, does little to advance discussion. Hope we are all a little more grown up in our debating skills.
    May 10 09:19 AM | 24 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE Results Validate Theory: Severe Economic Contraction [View article]
    Several issues adding to the financial blizzard of bad paper:

    1) Poor change management. Researchers have long known that change, even positive, introduces fear and stress. Obama's "Change" prescription is in fact years old, introduced during different financial times. The White House is creating more FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) rather than mitigating or managing change successfully. Result - consumers are holding tight.

    2) People realize they are frozen in their homes, cities, and perhaps jobs as their assets deflate. Result - same as #1.

    3) Gross denial, and arrogance, in government bodies at all levels. Illinois, with $11B in operating deficit, proposes huge tax increases and $30B in increased capital spending! What part of, "there is no money," don't they understand?

    4) Manufacturing resources, both labor and assets, have disappeared from the US, along with intellectual and managerial talent, as the US switched to a service economy. The service economy was built on health care, financial and easily switched industries such as restaurants, etc. Goodbye financial and goodbye health care as we attempt to nationalize that segment. What will drive the recovery? Short of some quantum technology leap, little appears ready to drive a sustainable, long-lived recovery.

    I am lifelong optimist. However, I do love to challenge mythical certainties such as, "America has always recovered," which will only continue to be true if it happens yet one more time. And if so, the time frame?
    Jul 17 01:19 PM | 23 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Q2 Results Are Not What They Seem [View article]
    Yes, welcome back Michael, mimicking author Stephen King with prolific Apple fictional horror stories. After writing 42 articles on SA over the last year predicting Apple's pending doom, the stock is up 40%, revenues are at all time highs and competitors like BBRY are further buried in a mound of Apple's successful new product introductions.

    The author's theory appears to be based on the false hope that, "what goes up, must come down." Of course, his corollary on BBRY, "what comes down, must go back up," is similar genius. With dozens of analysts pointing to a bright future for Apple, including the venerable and much respected Morgan Stanley, Stephen Blair's SA articles will continue to be Dewey Decimal filed under dark fiction.

    The one truthful statement at the end, "I don't know what the whole story is," sums up all 42 articles perfectly.
    May 9 08:36 AM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bemused by GDP Figures [View article]



    On Oct 29 01:57 PM bbro wrote:

    > More people will be employed next year, housing inventory will be
    > lower, businesses will be forced to increase some spending,and<br/>...
    > huge inventory gap will be narrowed....


    I noticed a lack of specifics in your forecast. Example, more people being employed could be 1 to a billion. Also, what is the time frame and an associated probability for each one of your points. Also, what data supports you claims?
    Oct 29 02:15 PM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple's iPhone Losing The Smartphone War? [View article]
    Unlikely to get the typically obsequious Blair response on this article. Thanks for this well reasoned, intelligent article. Most days SA articles on Apple are more like playing whack-a-mole.
    Nov 22 09:27 AM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Demographics, Manias And The Short Case For Apple Explained [View article]
    Mania is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    Thanks for the article. Apple up another $10 today!
    Dec 3 10:17 AM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple's iPhone Losing The Smartphone War? [View article]
    Go for it! I would love to read it!

    Ashraf owns a 5S and it sounds as if that was a turning point for him as was my wife's iPhone 4 for us. It was a Christmas gift for her aimed at her non-tech skills based on my EE son's recommendation. He had purchased one for his wife since he was tired of providing 24/7 call center support for her.

    At the same time, I purchased a Blackberry Bold. After the second major crash, both of which took a day to recover, I picked up the 4 and after a half an hour perusal ordered a 4S. We have both upgraded to a 5 when we switched carriers and I recently acquired a 5S which I love. No crashes, no problems, seamless upgrades. Man, as a MSFT bigot for decades, I'm loving it.

    My HP laptops are soon going to go. An iPad and Air are on the Horizon. Yes they are expensive but having been down so many computer rat-holes in my career and personal life I just want the gear to work and am willing to pay for it. The fact that in leverages all my media across my ipod, TV, phone and car with such ease still amazes me.Soon, it is what all vendors will have to deliver.
    Nov 22 09:45 AM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is BP an Investment or Speculation? [View article]
    Some great expertise weighs in on the following discussion board:

    theoildrum.com/

    T. Boone Pickens stated that the top kill wouldn't work prior to the attempt. Seems that BP is selling "hope" but educated oilmen are not giving any of these attempts high probabilities except for the relief wells. Removing the LMRP was probably delayed because the bent riser is restricting the oil flow like a kinked garden hose. It was hoped the junk shot might lessen that by restricting the oil flow through the BOP. Didn't happen.

    One oil export said he had drilled 4 relief wells and all four were successful. However, there are risks involved there as well and almost always, repeated tries to get to the correct reservoir, even when you are down to the correct depth.

    I am not suggesting shorting but I did sell all BP on Friday morning based on this info (the same BP I bought days before the blowout after much research, sigh...) Even if the relief wells come in, the costs are probably going to escalate and if the dividend is dropped, or heaven forbid eliminated, the shares are in for a fall. Also, the BO moratorium on drilling is not good for this producer.

    BP was doing a great job prior to this accident on PR with the "Beyond Petroleum" campaign. They will now replace, or join, Halliburton as the ecos top target. It will take a long time to right the ship.
    May 30 08:58 AM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Q2 Results Are Likely To Disappoint [View article]
    C- for insight must be due to grading on a curve. I originally published the following comment on Valentine's so the numbers need to be updated but not by much. It is "directionally" correct.

    "On June 17, 2013, Michael Blair authored the following positive article on BBRY, "BlackBerry Gaining Share In Key Markets As Market Awaits Q1 Results." In it, he stated he was long at the closing price of $14.30.

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    On June 10, 2013, MB authored the following bear article on AAPL, "Apple Can't Afford To Concede Market Share - I Don't Think It Has To" and stated he was short Appl at $432.

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    Since that time, AAPL has risen to $544, an annualized rate of 34.5% not including eight months of dividends. Meanwhile, BBRY has fallen from $14.30 to $9.00, an annualized rate of -49%."

    D- or incomplete?
    Apr 4 08:13 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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