Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
  • Apple's Huge Ecosystem Blunder  [View article]
    If you're so fond of that Microsoft strategy, I do hope you're still holding onto that MSFT stock.
    Sep 13, 2013. 08:47 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reflections On The Current State Of Apple  [View article]
    I don't disagree. I'm only recommending that they put cash to "good use".

    My main argument (above) is that Apple mgt takes far too long to make decisions. When Apple eventually makes a statement about it's intended use of $10B to $20B of its cash pile, I will have to say "and it took you how many months to make that (perhaps simple) decision?"

    I mean, after all, the excess cash has been building for quite some time. It's not like it just appeared unexpectedly overnight.
    Apr 15, 2013. 01:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Reflections On The Current State Of Apple  [View article]
    NOTE to Tim Cook: Just use the money wisely (as in "don't sit on it and earn a meager interest rate). If nothing else, simply pump up R&D (which is currently surprisingly low compared to other tech "innovators").

    Apple may already have a pipeline that is "choke full" of new products, as Tim said. However Apple must execute much faster than it has shown it is capable of.

    It's been months since the Eihorn confrontation and Apple reported they were actively pursuing the best course of action for it's increasing cash balance. To take that long to make any decision at all to use even a meager 6% to 8% of the cash is totally unacceptable. If it takes management that long to do anything at all (even a simple announcement to authorize an addtional $5B to $10B buyback - to be done over the coming two years for heaven's sake), just think how long it takes them to make truly complex decisions.

    The tech world has and always will move at a very rapid pace. Companies are innovating and bring products to market faster than Apple can do simple housekeeping and financial planning.

    Frankly, IMHO, the best use of Apple's cash is to direct a big chunk of it towards R&D. This could not only be used to develop new products but to accelerate the speed at which they are brought to market.

    Disclosure: I am long APPL but will be selling into strength on the way back up. I personally think there is more money to be made elsewhere.
    Apr 11, 2013. 12:45 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Using Share Buybacks To Support Its Stock Price?  [View article]
    a $10B stock buyback plan for APPL is just a little more than one day's average trading volume. Unless Apple chose to spend this in big lumps (like over the course of a few days), it's not enough to move the needle. And that's obviously not the case as Tim Cook has already stated that they had already executed a significant portion of the plan (don't have the figures in front of me), long before it fell to current levels.

    Also remember that on the day Goldman downgraded APPL, his lowered price target still reflected 35% upside in 12 months. That's not a compelling reason for anyone to dump the stock. I believe the market simply took that analyst remarks with a grain of salt and it had no impact on the stock price that day. After all, most of the negative thoughts mentioned were already clearly reflected in the stock price.
    Apr 9, 2013. 05:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Fall Into These 10 Buyback Traps  [View article]
    You can't simply compare absolute $ purchases against a percentage of share change. That's like "apples to oranges" thinking. I agree with your bullish assessment of AT&T, however it would be more appropriate to incorporate the market cap of each entity and compare the stock repurchases (expressed as a percent of outstanding shares) versus the percentage decline in the total shares. This analysis would also show that GS Goldman Sachs would have repurchased 2% of the outstanding shares and actually had a reduction of the full 2%, unlike so many others where half of the share repurchases were in fact not retired (and most probably used as executive stock compensation).
    Apr 3, 2013. 08:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oracle: Sell-Off Creates Long-Term Entry Opportunity  [View article]
    1. If you add 4,000 sales reps and your revenues decline 1% YOY, you have a very "real" efficiency problem.
    2. Ellison said in Q2 conference call that hardware would be flat in Q3 versus prior year. And that was a full month into the quarter.
    3. CFO states that the sequester on the last day of the quarter caused some sales to be deferred to Q4. Yet, Mark Hurd stated in Q2 conference call that many pending sales for Q2 did not get completed and were deferred to Q3. Same-Same every quarter. This recurring response is nothing but "BS".
    4. So even with the sequester deferred sales, the company is only projecting FY revenues to be what they have been guiding for the past 6 months. Why no increase in guidance?
    5. The "pipeline" is nothing but management's "crutch" to explain away all potential revenue concerns. In Q2 conference call, Mark Hurd spent a lot of energy explaining how the pipeline for Q3 was stronger than ever (and that was a full month into the quarter). So why the shortfall?
    6. The company repurchases its shares to give most of them to employees as stock based compensation. So most of the repurchases are simply dilution of shareholder values.
    Mar 21, 2013. 04:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Salesforce Earnings Preview: 7th Consecutive GAAP Loss Expected  [View article]
    Your analysis is spot on. CRM is absolutely no justifiable investment. However I do dabble in the trade because of it's volatility.
    There is absolutely no value in this company for shareholders. With that said, I do expect CRM to exceed revenue and "non-GAAP" EPS and the stock will shoot higher. Perhaps only until analysts have a chance to critique the 10Q for cash flow manipulation.
    Feb 27, 2013. 12:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Making Sense Of 3D Systems' 2012 Results  [View article]
    Very informative report. I am firm believer in the future of 3D printing industry. I do concur that the stocks got a little ahead of themselves. But the most important take from this is to learn how mgt is stretching the truth about the results. That's cause for real concern. Right now, I'll invest my money elsewhere.
    Feb 26, 2013. 05:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Fluor: 19% Upside In 2013  [View article]
    But didn't they announce in December an adverse ruling on an arbitration that will result in a $400M hit to Q4. Although I'm sure this will be reported as "extraordinary" item, much of the hit reverses what was accrued as income in the first three months on that project.

    Also didn't they just win a $3B award for the big bridge outside of NYC? This is the project where the "next lowest bid" was $1B higher than Fluor. So how can this project be profitable?
    Jan 28, 2013. 09:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on Oracle: Another $3B in buybacks lifted EPS. New software license/cloud subscription sales +17% Y/Y, a nice improvement from FQ1's +6%. License update/product support +7% (+3% prior). Hardware product sales still ugly at -23% (-24% prior). High-margin services revenue -5% (-6% prior). Opex -1%, below revenue growth of 3%. Headcount up by 1.3K to 117.2K. Americas sales +6% and Asia-Pac +8%, EMEA a weak spot, -2%. ORCL +1.7% AH. CC at 5PM ET (webcast), expect guidance and the usual Larry Ellison theatrics. (PR[View news story]
    Mgt said they repurchased 350M shares during past twelve months, yet the number of shares o/s only decreased by half that much. And perhaps the rest is held for stock compensation awards. How else can you increase your sales force by 3,000+ "without increasing your sales costs"? It's because this mgt's personal definition of income ("non-GAAP") doesn't include the real expense of stock compensation.
    Dec 19, 2012. 08:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Salesforce.com: Party Like It's 1999 - Update  [View article]
    Spot on!
    After the conference call and Q&A, I have very little regard to the analysts that participated and those who push this outrageously overvaluated stock.
    Nov 22, 2012. 10:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment