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  • Buy Signals Triggered Today In Apple [View article]
    Imho, this is a moment of truth for Apple management: are they in the business of supporting their shareholders, or instead of enhancing the intrinsic value of their stock options? (again, like 2012: the more stock they buy with the same money, the more valuable their 2017 options are).

    I have always been suspicious that the fall of 2012-2013 was promoted by the very Apple in order to buyback stock at lower prices. And there was a collusion with big investing firms, most notably Goldman Sachs -main advisors in the buyback plan, and whose advice includes dealing with options in the process-, that in turn had the guts to write huge amounts of ITM calls, knowing they would end worthless at expiration time.

    We are now in exactly the same situation: huge OI pin at $100 for January expiration. Once again, this pin has increased dramatically in the last months. Who had the guts, again, to risk so much money writing deep in the money calls? My guess is that this is the reason of Oppy's departure from Apple, and his current seat at GS board. He got his prize, and wants the dish served again.

    Apple has to demonstrate now if they are comfortable with this, letting gladly the stock to fall under 100 (and conveniently forget that those investing in it, even in options, are basically the company supporters), or if they will hold it above higher with buybacks.

    At the end of 2012 the excuse were the concerns about the yields of iphone5 and China delays (bears talked about marketshare, but that was noise). I guess now the concerns will be the exchange rates for Apple products abroad, Watch delays, etc, since we know there are selling all what they produce, and they are yielding much better figures.

    Not enough then, imho; as it is not enough now. Or if it is, Apple should have publicly stated this, weeks ago.
    Dec 16, 2014. 05:14 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Eat Your Apple Pie [View article]
    And how does it taste, Michael? It has been such a bitter bite (s), isn't?
    Dec 16, 2014. 10:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Q3 May Bring A Christmas Present - Profits! [View article]
    I think you may be right about the GM. If so, and using Blair's numbers, that would be less than 27% GM, or about 100M less income. So, the title of the article would be wrong. Given that the growth of phones in no way will be 100% like Blair estimates, much improbable in the Q of the iphone6 launch, the results will be much worse.

    About where BBRY is successful: take a look, for example, at this:
    http://bit.ly/1usSzyb

    It is very well known that spanish Telefonica, dominant in Central America, Argentina and of course Spain, has preferred agreements with BBRY (that are not for free...). That is perfectly reflected in the link above. And the reason people is buying a few BBRY's there is just because they are -because of those agreements- cheaper, and so with extremely tight margins.
    Dec 11, 2014. 03:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Q3 May Bring A Christmas Present - Profits! [View article]
    I am wondering: all of the sudden this company will double sales, and will go from negative to 42% gross margin, or about what they had when over 40% market share instead of the less than 2% they have now?
    When the only places the phone is still successful are the very troubled Indonesia, Argentina, Central America or Spain, and even there, just because of carrier agreements and artificial barriers for competitors?

    How is possible to achieve that GM, much higher than Apple, when the brand is weakened; there are no economies of scale (your very speculative sales numbers are 1/25th of what's expected for Apple, not to talk about Android); when they need to fight with lowered prices in order to regain market share; when even the cost of the device is probably higher than of competitors (costly features, let's assume the phones do have enough to differentiate the product, is the other way to compete)? When they are perhaps piling inventories of unsold previous models?
    If the answer if that the GM is because of services, your numbers are estimating the growth basically in the devices. I really doubt they have even a two digits GM. And that's even without discussing if this fantastic growth is possible at all.
    But your words sound nice for those that want to hear this, and so, you get some applause. My guess is that this will be painful to watch.
    Dec 10, 2014. 02:11 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Apple Pay Win Mobile Digital Payments? [View article]
    What I miss in these articles about Pay is the following argument:
    - The value propositions of credit card companies, much more than credit itself, is:
    - The convenience of the payment method
    - A "secure" transaction environment.

    Those "jobs to be done" suposedly justify the charges of the credit card industry.

    It happens that Pay disrupts, like no other has done it before, precisely the raisons d'être of those companies. The mechanics of this is almost exactly like what Apple did before to the music industry (guys hiding the true value of the true product in a marketing envelope of CD's and music stores - mediating between the consumer and the musicians-), or to the phone industry (again, guys also hiding their true value proposition under complicated charge schemes, and again mediating between consumers and content providers).

    What Apple is really doing here, once again, is erasing that questionable mediation value, establishing a more direct, not surcharged relation between consumers and retailers. Once these retailers become aware of this fact, they will end up those absurd CurrentC projects, and will embrace Pay. Because it is the model of transactions what is fundamentally changed here: the reason for those enormous credit card companies charges will cease to exist very soon, and so it will those charges. Sooner or later someone will start providing those services at a much lower cost, because the RISK that backup those charges will be almost inexistent, and so, their business model will change forever.

    The beauty of all this, right now at least, is that only Apple is able to provide this kind of fundamental shift. Sooner or later this will have enormous consequences in the market.
    Nov 30, 2014. 04:02 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Peak? Why I Completely Disagree [View article]
    He is lying. It's impossible for a human being to be short on AAPL, and adding to that, for such a long time. If so, he should be in a psychiatric hospital by now.
    They have been all paper trades. And even on those, I bet he had to reset his account several times, because he surely ran out of money more than once.
    Nov 20, 2014. 09:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Pairs With Samsung [View article]
    With all due respect:
    I've taken some time lately reading comments in BBRY articles, because it is amazing to witness how blind people can become when their money is on the line. I believe a primer for successful investing is to be objective and passionless about the stocks you hold.
    Do you really think BBRY by itself will derail the AAPL/IBM alliance? The first is the largest company in the world, almost a HUNDRED times bigger than BBRY. The second has 5 nobel prizes, 300K people inside, invented relational databases, the hard disk, etc, etc. They may not kill BBRY in security services, but they are a hell of a competitor, and will become stronger by the day.
    Then you got all those guys celebrating yesterday a one-off jump in price, laughing of shorts. Today the stock is down over 7% again.
    And finally celebrating this joint-venture with the worst possible partner: Samsung, that will do nothing but suck blood from BBRY in the long term, as they always do ...
    Nothing against BBRY, in fact, I hope they do well. But these kind of hallucinations are the profit of others. I opened a short position at 12.20 yesterday, took profits today at 11.40. Sorry, it was a gift I couldn't reffuse.
    Nov 14, 2014. 03:00 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Euro Bonds: Money For Nothing And Shares For Free [View article]
    Now Apple gotta move those color TV's...
    Nov 6, 2014. 06:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Breaking The Law (Of Large Numbers) And Getting Away With It [View article]
    Regarding table 1, and what follows:
    I understand Apple currently generates some 50B free cash-flow (before buybacks and divs). The first table considers a non-growth scenario (I agree this is very unlikely). In that case, very soon Apple would be spending much more than the cash it can generate in the proposed buybacks and divs. By the 10th year, that would mean they would have converted almost all current the cash pile in stock repurchases. Even without considering the cash repatriation problems that would mean, it is very unlikely that a company in that non growing scenario would spend all its money just like that.
    Since the rest of the analysis is based in this initial consideration, it would be nice if you can clarify how such a buyback program would be financed.
    My point: unless there is significant, sustainable growth, I wouldn't expect for the current rhythm of buybacks to be that bold in time. Although I think there will be growth, even a lot of it perhaps, this consideration is against the base argument disregarding bears views in your article.

    Btw, in the "inherent riskiness" follow up it would be nice if you can discuss the discrepancy between that perceived riskiness by market - translated in the continuous low P/E of the stock-, and the bond rates of their debt, implying that Apple may well be among the world's lowest risk investments in the long term, according the main risk assessment institutions.
    Nov 3, 2014. 03:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Titans Clash: MCX Vs. Apple Pay [View article]
    As I see it, that should be precisely the reason why merchants should support Pay, instead of fighting it.
    What is the added value, or "job to be done" (how sick I am of that expression...) of Credit Card companies?: Security, convenience, and in a distant third, the credit itself. You pay them a surcharge because they are supposed to provide you (customer, merchant) security for the transactions. Precisely those first two points are being radically transformed by Pay: now there is nothing more secure, mainly by virtue of the Apple hardware; now there is nothing more convenient, and that is unquestionable a virtue (and an unmatched one) of Apple hardware. Up to a point that the CC charges can't last too long, when their main reason of existence as a service to customers is disrupted by a third party.
    As the story of watches will be radically transformed beginning next year, so it will the story of payments, in the coming months. In my humble opinion.
    Oct 28, 2014. 12:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The iPhone Channel: Stay Tuned [View article]
    Nice article Matt, nice reply, Chuck.
    Blair has been fudding all year with inventory issues, that proved to be exactly the opposite of his arguments. Now he warns about the "danger" of an increase of this all-time-low inventory (once again implying that Cook cooks the numbers), while Samsung is said to have more than double of that, up to 40 million in the channels.
    If any, the danger here is that channels are under stocked, eventually hurting even higher sales. 81 average phones per sales point means that each one has no more than two or three devices per model available, one for show, one for delivery. Of course, in many places IP6 hasn't arrived yet, but the numbers still are telling enough to make the point of how low the inventory is right now.
    Oct 28, 2014. 09:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It Appears That Icahn Is Right About Apple In One Regard [View article]
    That's not what the article says. It specifically refers to the market cap, and wiliness of big investors of pairing the weight of that huge market cap in their portfolios, concluding that the chances are feble. Unless the company keeps using the cash to buyback the stock which, imho, is a way of translating the real Enterprise Value to a proper Price Earnings multiple; if the very market is unable (the author thesis, which I subscribe) of doing so. Without big money supporting the valuation of the stock (either it comes from the market or from Apple itself), it may never reach a proper valuation, certainly not that Icahn's boys calculate. They know it, and that's the reason of Icahn to propose a boost in buybacks.

    I learned the hard way not to invest in AAPL based only in my sentiment about the brand, or how nice I found the products.
    Oct 23, 2014. 03:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I'm Already Looking At Apple's Q1 FY15 Earnings Report [View article]
    Cook and Maestri clearly stated that the added week of channel fill to a proper 5-7 week level will be difficult to achieve this Q, because of backlogs and the huge demand/supply gap. So, your argument could be useful for Q2 or even later. And by that time, the thing will be Watch.
    Btw, the "manipulation" by Apple of channel fills was precisely one of the arguments of your bear articles, meaning the numbers known were not real sales. It turned to be exactly the opposite.
    Oct 21, 2014. 01:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Additional Upside Isn't Obvious [View article]
    Gonzalo:
    Are you sure your EV/EBITDA is counting long term investments? Numbers usually reported by financial sites don't consider it this way.

    If so, Apple would go down in your graph, to the level of HP or Asus, among the most troubled companies in the hardware business. Then the argument would be exactly the opposite of yours: Why a company whose strong position in the market is due to the unique strength of its software, services and brand is valued as equal as completely commoditized hardware companies?
    Oct 9, 2014. 06:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Earnings Preview: Fiscal 2015 Looks Solid, But What About After That? [View article]
    While I agree a company of this size should have a hard time to post the same numbers of "growth", AAPL will keep having such a huge amount of sales and profits. And so, they will also keep piling an ocean of money, already larger than most world's governments.
    If the market doesn't value the company appropriately (meaning, converging to the valuation of other mature cash cows like KO or PG), management will keep making buybacks with that money, until the only owners will be those fortunate enough to be able to evaluate what a terrific business is Apple, precisely in the long term.
    Be aware that the last, almost overnight 14B buyback (made in february when the stock had a little retreat after ER), has meant earnings of about 5.5 Billion, just in the market capitalization of that money. As it was made leveraged by free money (basically all the loan paid by the saved dividends), the figure is all the more impressive. Infinite ROI.
    Oct 7, 2014. 12:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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