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  • 2 Things That Really Matter For Apple's New Share Buyback Program [View article]
    I'm no expert, but from what I've read, Apple can only borrow in US dollars, can only repay loans in US dollars, can only buy back shares in US dollars, and can only pay dividends in US dollars.

    Foreign cash can be used to buy foreign companies (note the Israeli companies Apple has purchased), build factories and/or buy capital equipment in foreign countries (note the furnaces and lasers for the Arizona sapphire plant were purchased in Europe), and build new stores in foreign companies. All this economic activity is forced out of our country by the backward thinking corporate taxation rules our government has implemented. Nice going congress!
    Mar 29, 2014. 11:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 Things That Really Matter For Apple's New Share Buyback Program [View article]
    Borrowing to buy back shares makes all kinds of sense. The interest is tax deductible, the shares retired are no longer paid dividends, which are not tax deductible. Apple can borrow at 50-60 basis points above treasuries in the 5-10 year range. Bottom line, the cost of borrowing nets out to around zero. EPS goes up on the lower share count. Everyone's happy, except Michael Blair.
    Mar 25, 2014. 03:50 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Mobile added ~1M iPhone users in February [View news story]
    Old iPhones don't connect to 3G on CM, all the new ones being sold now do. A major reason I believe new iPhones are being sold to CM users who don't have 4G in their service area.
    Mar 21, 2014. 10:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Mobile added ~1M iPhone users in February [View news story]
    The China Mobile statement implies ~ 1 million of the 1.34 million 4G adds were new iPhones. Notably absent were any indications of any 3G new iPhone users. Since we know there were 10 million 3G adds, logically some should be new iPhones, especially because 4G has very limited availability right now.
    Mar 20, 2014. 03:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • IDC Smartphone Forecast Is Bullish For Apple [View article]
    The thesis of shrinking ASP's for iPhones was never a valid one, as Apple demonstrated with the iPod and iMac, there are always ways to increase the value proposition by adding new features or functions and thereby maintain or increase the selling price. Apple refuses to play the commodization and sinking margins game.

    Likely the iPhone 6's will have higher ASP's than any prior iPhone, and margins will be remain intact.
    Mar 3, 2014. 10:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Valuation: Thoughts On Price And Value [View article]
    I think when he said "the market" he was referring to the consumer market, not the stock market.
    Feb 26, 2014. 08:38 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lions Gate Entertainment Third Quarter Earnings: 5 Key Takeaways [View article]
    If someone says "we have 2/3 to go" and they booked $850 million then the remainder to go would be $1.7 billion. I'm not sure that is what they meant, but that's how it reads, unless it was misquoted.
    Feb 17, 2014. 02:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Heading To $750, Cisco Still Reinventing Itself And What's Next For The Market [View article]
    By the way, Apple is currently selling the 32" Sharp TV as a monitor for their Mac Pro computers. Apple paid for most of the factory equipment that makes these things and is working with Sharp to up the yield and increase the size and get the price down. But it's going to take time.
    Feb 13, 2014. 01:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Heading To $750, Cisco Still Reinventing Itself And What's Next For The Market [View article]
    I think the TV that Apple is looking to build is based on the new Sharp IZGO 4K Ultra HD which is currently available and selling for $3595 in a 32" size. They're looking at a long ride down the cost curve to get that puppy into mass production in a size and price point the public will accept. The set-top box will provide all the functionality without the screen. I think the actual TV is 18 months away.
    Feb 13, 2014. 01:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Heading To $750, Cisco Still Reinventing Itself And What's Next For The Market [View article]
    I think the Apple TV set-top device could become something a lot bigger than anyone suspects. I think the next iteration could be Apple's answer to the Xbox - At less than half the price.

    By Eliminating the optical drive, hand controllers (available as accessories) and games and using home-grown A-chip technology that will put the price point down to the $199 or under range with loads of memory and faster WiFi. iPhones, iPads, iPod touches will be the controllers along with specialty gadgets that mate with them.

    As for games, everything will be via digital download. Games will be less than half the price of ones sold for Xbox. The game producers will be thrilled - no more copying, no more resale market, updates on the fly via download, in app purchases, 70% of the sale price in their pockets with no production costs.

    Apple will position the device as the center of the living room. All entertainment will be digital, in the cloud, available everywhere on all the Apple devices. It will all be apparent when the device launches in a couple of months.
    Feb 13, 2014. 11:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Aggressive Share Buyback Should Dampen Any Large Dividend Increase [View article]
    I think it would make sense for Apple to borrow the $18 billion needed to finish the $60 billion authorized buy back sooner rather than later. Doing the math, the interest Apple will be paying, after tax considerations, is very close to the dividend payments being saved. Completing the full buy back will lower the share count to around 840 million.

    Last quarter would have been $15.60 instead of $14.50. Analyst's Full year estimates would be upped to $48.50 range. Target prices at 13 P/E would be $630. All without new product categories.
    Feb 11, 2014. 11:30 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2014 Will Be The Tipping Point For Apple [View article]
    The buyback is the put you get for free when you own AAPL. The new product pipeline is the upside you hope materializes, and although hope is not an investment strategy, Apple has a pretty good history in this area. And, finally, the dividend pays you a little something to be patient and wait to see what that new product pipeline is all about. It really is a no-brainer.
    Feb 9, 2014. 11:58 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Takes A Page From BlackBerry [View article]
    The iPhone 4 is a 3G phone and will be sold in markets where there is no 4G service. Makes total sense. Why try to sell a 4G phone in countries where no 4G service is available - who wants to pay for something they cannot use?
    Feb 5, 2014. 01:31 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Don't Panic [View article]
    PayPal earns so much because they charge 2.5% for moving money from one PayPal account into another. This cost of debiting and crediting is basically zero and those transactions are almost pure profit. Apple will be charging credit cards and depending on their incredible high volume to make a fraction of a percent on a transaction - not nearly as lucrative.
    Feb 3, 2014. 01:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's R&D Spend Points To Multiple New Products Exiting The Pipeline [View article]
    Apple's R&D is focused on a very few products and the components to make those products a reality. We're talking a handful of products. Google spends on dozens of projects most of which will never become a salable product for Google, or if salable, will never be profitable for Google - like Glass or self-driving cars.

    Apple is constantly living on the cutting edge of what is physically capable of being manufactured in quantity. If you step back and look at why Apple does things in a certain time frame and in a certain way, often it is a matter of waiting for suppliers to get up to speed on a new component or process. Apple spends billions (CAPEX) on helping their suppliers achieve the ability make the parts they need in the quantities they require.

    People think the iPhone 5C was a bad move. I think they had no option but to make it from plastic. I don't think the available machining capacity exists to make 50 million metal iPhones in one quarter + 25 million metal iPads + 5 million metal iMacs, etc.

    Now they're waiting for sapphire production to ramp up, 18nm chip fab capacity to ramp up, IGZO screen capacity to ramp and get yields up (for an Apple TV), etc. in takes time to be able to make the worlds most advanced consumer electronics in huge quantities.

    That's why Steve Jobs chose Tim Cook as his successor. The ideas are there, it's getting them produced that is the problem, and that is Cook's genius. Be patient, the products will come.
    Feb 3, 2014. 11:36 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment