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  • 2014 Prediction #5: Microsoft Tops $40 A Share [View article]
    Actually what I'm doing is commenting on the past. I'd comment on the future but, you see, it hasn't happened yet.

    What has happened, factually, is that Microsoft wrote down $900M due to abysmal Surface tablet sales.

    What has happened, factually, is that Microsoft stood with its hands in its pockets while mobile phones took off, and now they're struggling mightily to catch up (look at market share recently?).

    Having laid out the facts pertaining to the past, here's the part where I speculate about the future...

    Microsoft will continue its downward spiral because it lacks vision, because it has fallen too far behind in the mobile arena, and because consumers already know what to expect from them and they don't like it.

    Jan 12 08:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 2014 Prediction #5: Microsoft Tops $40 A Share [View article]
    What about the fact that the world is moving to mobile and Microsoft is struggling mightily in both the tablet ($900M write down) and smartphome arenas?

    Microsoft has done well squeezing ever more revenue out of enterprise customers for upgrades to software, but that's a dead end street...
    Jan 11 12:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Mac Worldwide Surges, Almost Takes Fifth Place [View article]
    I think you're right. Apple is not only gradually moving ino the enterprise realm, but for years it has been insidiously capturing greater portions of the education market. Eventually the students become the workers, become the decision makers...

    It's a long term game, and every other company is just now seeing that only Apple has been adhering to a long term game plan while the rest flailed around in their sandboxes trying to eke out ever more clever ways of screwing the consumer out of a few pennies for short term gains.

    Game over, Apple wins. Even if you dnt know it yet.
    Jan 10 08:48 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nobody Is Short Apple [View article]
    @Lakeart: Last qtr apple provided updated guidance during the quarter. I believe that's what Wneill is referring to.
    Jan 9 11:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Kidney Stones, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs And CEO Health [View article]
    I don't think they lied, I suspect they simply regurgitated a message related to them after the fact.

    Someone with a vested interest in that particular story getting out provided that explanation in a Thank You letter, perhaps...

    "Gosh, that was an awful experience and I'm so lucky you were there to help me. Who knew kidney stones could be so painful?!"

    Why would the Ecuadorian navy have any reason to doubt it?

    I'm not suggesting duplicity on behalf of the Ecuadorians, lord knows they are above that sort of thing. I'm just suggesting they had no reason to doubt what they were told.

    Of course, this is complete speculation. What is sad, in my opinion, is that the truth is such an elusive quantity. I suppose that's nothing new in human history.
    Jan 9 10:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Kidney Stones, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs And CEO Health [View article]
    Yeah, I'm not convinced the Ecuadorian navy would be in a position to confirm or dispute the facts of greatest importance. If they weren't at the hospital, all they really know is that Bezos was sick and went to the hospital. Whether surgery was performed or not, and whether it was kidney stones or some other internal ailment was probably beyond their reckoning.

    Of course, I'm just speculating, but I wouldn't be surprised if a yr or two down the line some *entirely unrelated* illness is discovered.

    Best wishes for Bezos' health, but let's get some transparency on this wackadoo stock price.
    Jan 8 04:57 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Achilles' Heel Of Apple Is Its Recalcitrant High-Margin Policy [View article]
    While I didn't bother to actually read this article, I wanted to say that I agree with the sentiment stated in the title.

    Apple's fundamental weakness is its insistence on building such high quality products that consumers are willing to pay much more to purchase them rather than lower quality alternatives.

    That will surely come back to bite them in the behind some day.
    Jan 7 08:15 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kidney Stones, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs And CEO Health [View article]
    Sounds like cleverly worded evasion to me. Allow me to provide a possible reality-behind-the-words scenario:

    "No surgery was required... but we performed it anyway."

    "Galapagos: 5 stars, Kidney stones: 1 star... Misdirection to avoid discussion of more serious, undisclosed medical condition: also 1 star"
    Jan 7 08:11 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon's PR Genius [View article]
    @Duc: No, he's no genius, hence the quotes.
    Jan 7 08:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon's PR Genius [View article]
    Nevertheless, it brings into focus the fragility of a stock price built on the 'genius' of one man.
    Jan 6 08:11 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon's PR Genius [View article]
    What message was Bezos trying to communicate with his kidney stone revelation?

    Didn't S. Jobs die from a kidney related ailment?

    Hope Amazon's stock doesn't suffer a similar fate when it's peerless leader's fragility is called into question.
    Jan 5 05:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Will Be The Main Victim Of Microsoft And Google Cutthroat Smartphone Pricing [View article]

    Enjoyed your reply to M Blair L
    Jan 3 01:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Big Things To Expect From Apple In 2014 [View article]
    Apple is currently returning huge amounts of cash to shareholders, both through dividends and buybacks. As you may have heard, they have a record buyback program in place, to return $100 Billion to shareholders. They also pay a large, but sustainable dividend.

    A large portion of Apple's cash is overseas. It would be foolish to prematurely repatriate that money and incur a huge tax bill at a time when Apple's fastest growing markets are overseas and they may need that money for future investments.

    It makes perfect sense to discuss Icahn's motivation since his past entanglements with corporations have often not resulted in positive long term outcomes for the corporations.

    Why push Apple to return more money than their own finance department deems wise when they haven't made a single needlessly large purchase with the cash they have on hand yet? They have begun to return very significant amounts of cash to shareholders. Who knows what obstacles they may face in the future, or what technology investments they may need to make? It just seems foolish to race ahead and spend every penny they earn, and go into debt borrowing to fund even more shareholder payouts.

    Apple is doing things right, they continue to execute in their product lines with hit product after hit product, and they have generous plans to return what they feel is prudent amounts to shareholders. Why mess with success?
    Dec 28 08:59 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Is Just 1 Year Away From Becoming A 'Boring' Dividend Income Stock [View article]
    The entire premise is wrong, as indicated by Braeburn above:

    Apple's market share surged in the most recent 3 month period.

    Let's revisit the underlying assumptions when the 4Q13 vs 4Q12 comp is available, shall we?
    Dec 26 09:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Google: Look For A 20% Price Appreciation In 2014 [View article]
    Although I don't see Google Glass being particularly successful, I recognize that I'm not an authority on the subject. I just don't find them particularly compelling to own or core to my lifestyle, like a phone for communicating or an iPad for consuming news and other media. It seems more like a toy to me.

    Nevertheless, if we entertain the possibility of a successful Google Glass launch, do you think it has a large enough addressable market to significantly move the needle given Google's current size? How many people are we envisioning purchasing them, and at what price point? Even admitting the possibility of a successful product, I don't see it contributing financially in a way that supports GOOG trading at a P/E multiple of 30.

    I used to hold both AAPL and GOOG but of the two, only AAPL still looks good to me, both in terms of valuation and prospects, as you mention. It will be exciting to watch the two stories develop.

    Perhaps you have a better feel for FB than I do. I'm still skeptical of their future relevance. I can see them all but disappearing in a few years. I don't doubt the story of the emerging social network space, but I'm not clear on FB's long term prospects in it. Time will tell...
    Dec 25 04:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment