Time to Sell Apple

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

No, not all at once. I will be looking for action, trying to figure out trend. But sell I will.

I've been holding Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) since 1999. My greatest pick ever. I started having some doubts last May, which I wrote about here. Those reasons are still valid. Apple is becoming almost mainstream in computers, The iPod is so mainstream it's hard to see any growth there.

Of course, Apple is a great company. It has great products and a religious following among customers. It has a great balance sheet: $25 billion of cash and short term investments is a nice pile to have, especially now, when cash is king.

But there is one problem with Apple which is becoming way too important. Steve Jobs is Apple. Without Steve, this would be a completely different company. There will be nobody to say about a new product, "There is no sex in it!". There will be no end of so-so products which will be released just because it's Christmas, or MacWorld, or something else.

Steve is seriously ill. I wish him a fast recovery and excellent health, I wish him a long and happy life. I hope he spends more time at Apple torturing developers and bringing great products to us.

But I don't invest on hope. The health of Steve Jobs is not a private matter, not when he is the soul of Apple. We never had good information since his cancer scare. Jim Cramer says that accounting irregularities mean "sell". I say that any information irregularities mean "sell". I am selling at least half of my position on Thursday. Remaining part will be sold depending on action, but no later than May.

I always claim the right to be wrong. I can be wrong about Apple. The company can stay great without Steve. Maybe. If I see something to change my opinion, I will buy Apple back.

Full disclosure: At the time of publication author had a long position in AAPL. Positions can change any time.

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