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  • Is Apple Moving Toward Safe Haven Status Within A Long-Term Trading Range? [View article]
    It is clear Apple needs the following things to happen as quickly as possible:
    Raise the dividend and buy back, or make a major acquisition.
    Come out with a phone for China Mobile and a deal to sell it
    Get their venture with Sharp producing new technology screens
    Get their venture with Taiwan Semi producing new chips
    Make a cheaper iPhone for the prepaid markets
    Make a large screen iPhone for those users who want that
    Come out with a new product, iTV or iWatch, whatever

    The next few months are going to be painful. This quarter will be a major YOY EPS drop and the markets are going to play that up as the beginning of the end for Apple. I think, if they do all of the above, they can get the shares back up to over $600, maybe even $700 by year end. But, everything will have to go right, and very little seems to be going right lately for Tim Cook and company.

    Meanwhile I'm holding my considerable shares hoping they get their act together before I can't stand the pain any longer and sell despite knowing all of the above will happen eventually.
    Mar 3, 2013. 11:10 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Apple Is Heading To $700 [View article]
    The $60 billion will be over a few years, so the money doesn't need to be in hand now. Congress has been eyeing the $2 trillion in US corporate cash overseas and will do something to repatriate it after the midterm elections. A 5% tax on it would be $100 billion in the governments coffers. It'll happen - it's too stupid for even congress not to figure it out.
    Apr 22, 2014. 04:02 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Earnings Preview: What A Difference A Year Makes [View article]
    Since anyone can make predictions, here's mine;

    Apple's FQ1 Estimated Results

    iPhone - 57 million units with ASP $630 = $35.9b
    iPad - 28 million units with ASP of $400 = $11.2b
    iMac - 4.0 million units with ASP of $1200 = $4.8b
    iPod - 10 million units with ASP of $160 = $1.6b
    iTunes - Based on recent company report - $2.7b
    iTV, Software, Services, Accessories, etc. $4.0b

    Total = $60.2 Billion
    Gross margins of 38%
    Gross Profit = $22.9 Billion
    Operating Expenses = $4.5 Billion
    Net before taxes = $18.4 Billion
    Tax rate of 26%
    After tax earnings = $13.6b
    Assuming 890 million shares outstanding = $15.28 EPS

    Downside Risks to these numbers;
    Early release of iPhone 5s & 5c 10 days prior to beginning of Quarter
    Weakness in Southern Europe
    Reported weakness in China in anticipation of China Mobile deal
    Late arrival and limited availability of iPad Mini HD models
    Reduction in price of the old iPad Mini standard definition model
    Late arrival of Mac Pro pushing those sales into March quarter
    Widespread chain store discounting of iPhones and iPads (possible Apple participation)

    Upside Potential to these numbers;
    Much Faster country roll-out
    Better availability of iPhones and iPads
    Reported strong consumer preference for 5s over 5c iPhone models
    Reported preference for higher storage models of iPhone and iPad
    Preference of iPad Air over Mini
    Addition of NTT Docomo and dominance of iPhone and iPad in Japan
    Best iPhone quarter ever in China per Tim Cook
    Possible channel fill sales to China Mobile booked this quarter
    Much better availability at launch of accessories for iPhones and iPads
    Extremely high profit margin on these accessories
    Higher iPhone margins, in general, in "S" years
    Jan 23, 2014. 07:58 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: What Caused the Fall? [View article]
    Stop loss orders will kill you these days. You're better off having limit buy orders on all your favorite stocks in place all the time at prices well below the current level, just in case of something like a flash crash - at least you win.
    Sep 28, 2010. 04:10 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Needs A Staggering Breakthrough, And Quickly [View article]
    The stock is suffering from investors who see a negative EPS YOY comp this quarter, which is going to be painful (as in a $2 loss in trailing EPS) and no upside catalysts in the near term. Without management throwing investors some red meat, like a dividend increase, elevated & accelerated stock buy-back, an announced deal with China Mobile and/or NTT Docomo, strong evidence an Apple TV is coming sooner rather than later, a low-cost iPhone for the prepaid market, a phablet device, an iwatch, a juicy acquisition, like NetFlix, or a combination of many of the above, the stock is likely to continue riding that channel down to $400.

    I cannot believe they (Tim Cook et al) are totally insensitive to the pain stockholders are going through right now. I can't believe some relief is not going to be forthcoming. That said, I'm holding the stock along with 2015 leaps and am short 2014 puts in the belief there will be some breakthrough products coming in the next 6-18 months. I see a new screen technology (IGZO) and a new 22nm chip design that will put Apple well out ahead of the competition again. I see a payment system, fingerprint identification, and loads of incremental improvements.

    One thing I see, that seems to be ignored by the analysts, is Apple lowering it's manufacturing costs by investing billions in plant and equipment to bring these new (and far superior) technologies into mass production. Samsung, because of its vertical integration, has become the low cost producer in smartphones. Apple is skating to where the puck will be and is aiming to be the low cost producer of these new technologies and retake the cost advantage away from Samsung within 12-24 months. That's what I expect to happen and that's when the stock will reach new highs. Until then it would be nice to see some stock price support actions from management.
    Feb 15, 2013. 11:01 AM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: A Baby-Boomer Stock [View article]
    I am a 64 year old who has always been tech savvy. My partner is a 70 year old extremely technology challenged individual. We got the entire company iPhones and he thought he could never use it. Now, he cannot live without it. He uses just a few of the features - the phone, of course, the calendar and the contact list, and recently started using email on the phone and the alarm clock feature. He is thrilled - it makes his live so much easier. By the way, he's never bought an app and never used the Internet feature on the phone.
    Feb 20, 2011. 03:58 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL) has cut iPhone 5 component orders for calendar Q1 due to weaker-than-expected demand, sources tell the WSJ; display orders are said to be cut by ~50%. The Nikkei also claims display orders have been halved, albeit from an elevated level of 65M. The articles back up analyst reports of iPhone production and component order cuts, and raise the question of whether Apple needs a cheaper iPhone and/or one with a larger display to bolster its international share. Suppliers on watch: LPL, CRUS, OVTI, QCOM, BRCM, SWKS, TQNT, AVGO[View news story]
    65 million per quarter is 260 million iPhone 5's a year. Add in iPhone 4& 4s's and you're up to well over 300 million iPhones a year. Now, who believes that's even remotely possible?

    I think they ordered enough parts for 65 million iPhone 5's last quarter and probably sold 45 million, which combined with 4’s and 4s's is a nice 55-60 million total. Now they have parts for 20 million and reduced the 65 million this quarter to 32 million. Still enough parts to make another 45 million 5's with parts left over.
    Jan 13, 2013. 10:28 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Is Sandbagging More Than You Think [View article]
    Thank you for pointing out this ongoing earnings under-reporting. It reached its height a few years ago when they were reporting iPhone sales evenly over 8 quarters. Very few people really get it, this is a much more profitable company than most people think. Glad to see someone who does get it.
    Oct 29, 2012. 10:06 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The breakdown of Apple's (AAPL) iOS Maps partnership with Google (GOOG) centered around turn-by-turn navigation, sources (possibly within Apple) tell AllThingsD's John Paczkowski. Apple pushed Google to provide data that would enable turn-by-turn, but Google was unwilling, at least without in-app branding and/or support for other Google features. One source suggests Apple execs have been taken aback by the Maps uproar. "I think they felt they were farther along than they actually are." (more[View news story]
    Using the new maps function for close to a week on my iPhone 4S, I don't know what people are complaining about. Here in northern NJ it has been perfect. I think whatever issues people might find in their areas, they will be fixed fairly quickly, after all, it's all in the cloud, they don't have to mail out new DVD's like on my BMW.
    Sep 26, 2012. 05:31 PM | 13 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
  • Smartphones: Apple Knows What It's Doing, Google Doesn't [View article]
    Google is making a few Nexus phones to provide manufacturers a "reference" device. If they made millions of them then the manufacturers would view Google as a competitor and find an alternative to Android, hence Tizen. Tizen is how Samsung keeps Google out of the large scale device manufacturing business. Remember, Google does not make any mobile device - they order them from HTC, primarily. Believe me, if they gave HTC an order for 50 million Nexus phones, they'd have 50 million available in no time.
    Dec 21, 2014. 01:19 PM | 11 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's Declining Advantage Is Undeniable [View article]
    This looks like one of those Friday morning hit pieces that come out every week to keep the weekly option sellers profitable.
    Jan 24, 2014. 09:32 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • iPad Still King in Changing Tablet Landscape [View article]
    RIM Playbook will be competing with iPad2. The game will change dramatically - Don't get your hopes up.
    Dec 5, 2010. 11:50 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Falling Share Price And The Market's Implicit Growth Implications [View article]
    The thesis that Apple is done growing seems to be pretty popular theme on Seeking Alpha lately. Most of it appears to be driven by the last 2 quarters where Apple missed analyst's estimates, ignoring the fact that the prior two quarters were extraordinary, averaging around 100% YOY earnings growth, and taken as a whole, the year was 60% YOY EPS growth. That's not too shabby.

    Instead of examining why those two quarters were disappointing, these pundits choose to see the end of Apple as a growth stock. What I see is two quarters where unusual circumstances conspired to pull sales either back into the prior quarter or ahead into this quarter. All you need to do is go back and read the conference calls after those two earnings reports.

    In FQ3 Apple missed because of excess sales into the channel in China in Q2. Apple didn't stuff the channel, the Chinese retailers over-ordered thinking the iPhone 4S would be on allocation and their orders wouldn't get filled. The consequence was that they spent most of Q3 working down that inventory. Apple had a huge beat in Q2 at the expense of a small miss in Q3.

    Q4's miss was due to multiple factors. The annual pause in iPhone purchases in anticipation of a new model. The slow ramp up in production of the iPhone 5 due to the parts shortages and the new, difficult to manufacture form factor. And, GAAP accounting rules that forced Apple to charge off hundreds of millions of dollars in currency hedging premiums in Q4, even though it was for FQ1 & FQ2 of F2013.

    So, if my analysis is correct, and the supply met the demand prior to December, which appears to be the case, and we know Apple will have no charges this quarter for currency hedges, this could be a hell of a quarter.

    Look, everyone knows trees don't grow to the sky. Someday Apple will be a slow growth "utility" stock. But, iPhone sales were just about 10% of all cell phone sales in 2012, the tablet market is going to quadruple over the next 4 years, Apple has been making slow, steady progress in Laptops & Desktops, and is likely to continue doing that. Then, what about new products? TV's, Siri in the car, who knows what they'll come up with. I don't know if Apple's got 3 or 5 or 10 years more of double digit growth ahead, but I do know, it ain't over yet.
    Dec 12, 2012. 08:10 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment