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  • A Deal With China Mobile Could Be A Catalyst For Apple  [View article]
    ArKeh - Real question - Why is it unlikely that a cheap phone would be 4G? Of course, we don't know the definition of "cheap" - is is $100? 200? I have read that China Mobile is subsidizing the higher end phones and that will make it more affordable. Also, if the manufacturer is hiring 40,000 workers or even 20,000, that indicates a lot of phones being built and quantity can push down prices. One of the articles linked above says the case will be plastic and that will reduce the price. In any case, China Mobile is mostly on 2G, so even a 3G iPhone (which I have) is much better than 2G.
    Jun 28, 2013. 04:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Anyone Breach Apple's Moat? Part 2  [View article]
    No one I know owns a Blackberry or wants one. I don't think they will survive. Most people in business don't rush to the latest gadget - reliability is important. Home Depot just switched to Apple and reliability is the reason.
    Mar 18, 2013. 11:10 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Of Herbalife's Greatest Risks  [View article]
    Madoff was a PONZI Scheme, not a Pyramid scheme - it isn't the same thing - and Madoff's clients were mostly millionaires, not people buying $10 diet shakes. Enron was accounting fraud.
    Mar 14, 2013. 11:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why You Should Buy Apple Now  [View article]
    Good article. I agree and am long AAPL. There are many good things that can happen and $150 Billion is a HUGE amount. At $450 a share, Apple could spent $45 Billion and buy back 100 million shares - over 10% of the outstanding shares - that would probably drive prices up 10% or more. It could also buy smaller cable TV Channels or even a big content owner and still have tons of money left. It could (and logically should) start Apple Search and an Apple version of YouTube to compete head-to-head with Google (I would definitely try it - wouldn't you?). Apple needs to branch out and not be so dependent on product sales and they have the brand recognition, the loyal customer base, the money and the expertise to start a lot of new revenue streams.
    Mar 10, 2013. 09:21 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Is It Really Too Cheap To Ignore?  [View article]
    *Until there is a neat sign that Apple can turn its fortunes (and those of its shareholders) around, as much as the stock may appear irresistibly cheap, I wouldn't touch it.

    The problem with that approach is that there are 3 or 4 things that could cause Apple to jump to quickly $500 per share - increasing the dividend, buying stock, just about anything positive - I'm long and think it has hit bottom and that something will happen to cause it to move to $500 or more.
    Mar 8, 2013. 02:21 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife: Icahn Literally Leaps On Board  [View article]
    Craig, I agree with you about Ackman. I think I can see a difference between Icahn and Ackman - Icahn can actually be good for a company - he is very smart. As far as Ackman and HLF - in my opinion Ackman was/is just trying to make a quick buck and he was doing it by tearing down HLF without any concern for the effect on the company, its shareholder or its 6,000 employees. Yes, JCP has turned into a disaster.
    Mar 7, 2013. 06:45 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife: Icahn Literally Leaps On Board  [View article]
    @ the author - Good job. I disagree with one thing - I think Icahn IS Superman - look at Icahn's returns in the past 12 months and the number of deals where he has lost money. You can see a list on GuruFocus - Icahn averaged about a 35% return on 20 investments, made over 100% on 4 investments and only lost on 3, and the losses were about 10% on each. I would rather have Icahn on my side than Ackman. At this point, I think it is personal for Icahn and he will make a huge profit on HLF to teach Ackman a lesson for insulting him.
    Mar 7, 2013. 05:42 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife: Icahn Literally Leaps On Board  [View article]
    Huh??? Garbage???? I totally disagree with you and agree with the author, and, like him, I'm long. The author presents the basis for his position, which is more that I've ever seen William Keep do - Keep's articles can usually be summarized as "I wrote an article a long time ago and am an expert, and what I say goes so HLF is a pyramid scheme." I think Fusion does a good job.
    Mar 7, 2013. 05:35 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Learn From Andy Zaky's Mistake  [View article]
    @ Ashraf - Very good article and I agree except for one point - I think Apple is a bargain at the $440 range. I wasn't a buyer at $700 or $600 and am not a momentum buyer of stocks moving up fast in price like Google is now, BUT $450 is a very different thing than $700. Apple has 3 things that are hugely important -
    1. A huge amount of cash. Cash does 2 things - it allows companies to survive (and even thrive in) bad times and it creates opportunities by product development or by acquisitions. You recommend Intel and Hewlett Packard as stocks to buy - Apple has more cash than the market cap of BOTH those companies.
    2. Positive brand Recognition that is as good as it gets - If you offered people of any age their choice of a free iPhone or a free Samsung phone, I think 90% would choose the iPhone.
    3. A network in place to produce and sell products that took years to establish.

    By the way - in the past I have owned HPQ and I just sold INTC.. I have no interest in either because I think the risk is too great due to lots of competition, changing markets and over-concentration in one product (the same complaints people make about Apple). On the other hand, I keep buying Apple because I think there are several things that can happen that could push the price to $500 or even $550 within a week:
    1. They can increase the dividend to 3% and the payout will only increase from 12% to 16%.
    2. They can start buying back stock - At $430 a share, for $43 Billion they could buy 100 million shares. 100 million shares is 10.6% of their outstanding stock. That would raise the price at least 10% - maybe 15%. (The key point here is that Apple has the CASH to do that without borrowing).
    3. Announce a new product that is well received.
    4. Announce an acquisition that is well received.
    5. At this point, do anything that lets people know they have a plan.

    I think a lot of Apple's problem is a loss of confidence by investors who think the Company lacks direction - I think the main problem is perception and that they are doing a bad job of communicating their plans.

    Out of curiosity, why do you think INTC and HPQ are a better buy at this point than Apple? INTC has a Forward P/E of 10 and Apple has a Forward P/E of 8. Although I did see today that Apple may start buying some chips from Intel. I don't see how HPQ can turn their business around. HPQ has $23 B of cash and investment but $28 B of debt while apple has $0 debt and $150 B of cash & Investments. With Apple, I think it is very likely they will turn around and they have the cash to do it.
    Mar 7, 2013. 10:37 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Is Worth $265  [View article]
    Shouldn't you add the $150 per share of cash to the $265 to get $415?
    Mar 6, 2013. 04:45 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife's Tragic Flaw: Understanding Inventory Loading  [View article]
    The author is short, in case you haven't noticed. Actually, that HLF only charges $59 to be a distributor is surprising - I pay Costco and Sams more than that to be a business "Member" so I can get their discounts. Let's say HLF signs up 2 million "Distributors" a year (we know that most of them are actually consumers signing up so they get the discount), by my calculation that is $118 MM of revenue out of $4 Billion. To me, that destroys the "Pyramid Scheme" argument. True pyramid schemes charge much higher front-end fees, and understandably so. By the way - Costco's entire business model encourages people to buy in large quantities - are you going to fuss about that? My little business gives a quantity discount (the more you buy, the cheaper the price) - Am I somehow doing something wrong? I'm long and think HLF will be $50 within 45 days.
    Mar 6, 2013. 02:58 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife: Putting Bill Ackman's Arguments In Perspective  [View article]
    @ hudget - Let me see... Who do I think knows more, Carl Icahn, Dan Loeb, Robert Chapman (all of whom are long HLF and between them now own 20%) or you? You claim to be an expert on Pyramid Schemes - answer this question - "What is the largest consumer products company that was ever shut down as a Pyramid Scheme?" The largest I can find is FHTM was started in 2001, was privately owned (not a public company with all scrutiny and reporting requirements) and reached about $400 million of annual revenues at its peak in 2009 (serious legal troubles started in 2010). HLF is 10 times larger than FHTM is its peak, has been in business a lot longer and is a public company. Pyramid Schemes ARE unsustainable and the fact that the largest in history was $400 million gives us an idea of the limit on how large they get before they collapse because they don't sell enough products to stay in business. The limit might be $500 million or even $700 million, but NOT $ 4 Billion. HLF is at $ Billion because they sell products. About 70% of their "Distributors" are really customers who signed up as distributors to get a discount, so of course those people don't make money and of course there is a turnover. Do you know HLF's BBB Rating? It is A+. You can Google it. Has there ever been a proven pyramid scheme that had an A+ BBB Rating? I'm long and the shorts who sold at $45 or less are going to get killed. Icahn is going to push HLF to $60 or $70, which is what the analysts say it is worth. Even IF the FTC shut down HLF in the US (which would be ludicrous since the only people complaining are short sellers), at the $63 median Target Price, it is still worth $51 because 81% of the revenues are from outside the US.
    Mar 4, 2013. 07:04 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife: Putting Bill Ackman's Arguments In Perspective  [View article]
    @ Deja - Are you short or working for a short seller?
    Mar 4, 2013. 06:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife: Putting Bill Ackman's Arguments In Perspective  [View article]
    Are you short or working for a short seller? People pay more for Brand names - everyone knows that. Few buy the house brand of "Cola" - they pay twice as much for Coke. Same thing hundreds of other brands, including HLF.
    Mar 4, 2013. 06:28 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Conservative Strategy And Investment Rationale For Apple Bulls  [View article]
    I think Apple is a bargain at the current price (a 8.4 Forward P/E). Better to have $137 Billion in cash than to lose it doing something stupid like other companies have done because people are yelling "Spend it". The cash allows them to take advantage of opportunities, increase dividends and create new products. If there is a correction, they may be able to buy some good companies at a bargain. An big market correction might be good for AAPL because it would hurt weaker companies and leave APPL in a relatively better position due to their cash. At $440 a share AAPL can increase the dividend yield to 3% and the Payout Ratio only goes from 12% to 15%. On any good news the stock will bounce to $500, which is only a 10.0 Forward P/E. I didn't like AAPL at $700, but I love it at $450. I think it will be at least $500 within 6 months. It is funny and silly that so many "experts" loved it at $700 and now hate it at $450 - that just proves how much of a herd mentality there is among institutional investors.
    Mar 4, 2013. 12:07 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment