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Apple's gross margins likely to decline this fall with new product designs, but quick rebound...

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
It's expected that Apple will see its gross margins shrink at the end of 2014 as the company is expected to introduce a completely redesigned "iPhone 6," though one analyst sees margins trending upwards once again by the March 2015 quarter.



Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray issued a note to investors this week, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider, in which he said it's likely that Apple's margins will in fact see a quarter-over-quarter decline in the three-month period to end 2014. He believes this will be driven by the "iPhone 6," which is anticipated to have a new design that would negatively affect the company's margins at launch.

The last time Apple introduced a revamped iPhone model came in 2012, when the iPhone 5 debuted. Looking back at late 2012 heading into 2013, Munster believes the same trend will continue, but that margins will immediately begin to improve by early 2015.

Apple's own guidance for the current September quarter calls for margins between 37 and 38 percent, which would be a decline of 190 basis points quarter over quarter from June. In comparison, for the iPhone 5 launch in 2012, Apple saw its margins decline by an even greater 280 basis points sequentially.

But 2012 also saw the launch of the iPad mini, a product that Munster believes further reduced Apple's margins. It debuted in the December 2012 quarter, when margins slid by another 140 basis points sequentially. Margins fell again in the March 2013 quarter by 110 basis points, which he also said was likely a result of the iPad mini.




Because of those historical trends, key differences from 2012 product introductions, and Apple's ability to quickly improve margins following new product launches, Munster isn't concerned about any short-term fluctuations. He noted that iPhone margins remain above other Apple product categories, and higher overall sales would offset total impact to gross margins.

For his "base scenario" forecast, Munster sees margins dropping 200 basis points sequentially in the December quarter. He sees the company selling 54.5 million iPhones in the three-month period, which would be 7 percent year over year growth.

And headed into the March 2015 quarter, Munster doesn't believe that new iPads or even the mythical "iWatch" will hurt margins as much as the first iPad mini did. As a result, he sees Apple increasing its gross margins from 35.5 percent in the December quarter to 36 percent in the March 2015 period.

Piper Jaffray has maintained its "overweight" rating for AAPL stock, with a price target of $105 per share.
post #2 of 33

Did Munster come out with his annual iTV prediction yet?

post #3 of 33
Gene Munster is right?? Come on, of all his predictions, how many of them was correct??
Why do you even give this guy any attention?? Why not start posting stories from Rob Enderle now? He's just as accurate.
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerofTruth View Post

Gene Munster is right?? Come on, of all his predictions, how many of them was correct?

Munster's margin contraction prediction is almost exactly in alignment with Apple's own guidance, so if he is full of it…well you get the idea...

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #5 of 33
And the Gene Munster parade of one marches off into the sunset and over a cliff...

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #6 of 33
His numbers are just an educated guess, of course, but I don't think anyone who pays attention to these things doubts that the iPhone 6 release will have a short-term negative effect on margins. The degree of this impact depends on how much the new model uses newer/premium materials, components and manufacturing techniques compared to the previous model, and the ratio of iPhone sales to non-iPhone sales. There are also other factors, like if they change the pricing structure or RAM, or something similar that would skew the average sales price.

Despite being a shareholder who stands to lose money, part of me is happy if the margins go down a little in the short term, because it means Apple is willing to sacrifice on the margins in order to deliver as much value as possible to the consumer, of which I am also one, and I use my phone a lot!
post #7 of 33
I don't understand the base points calculations. Where do those come from? Base of what?
post #8 of 33
Gross Margins ebb and rise. The important number to be watching is Net Income over stock count, or EPS. PED on 2.0 has a new article referenceing an article on Seeking Alpha that's a must read for people interested in AAPL. http://fortune.com/2014/08/12/math-error-in-apples-favor-its-all-time-high-was-110-not-100/

EPS feeds other measures used to make market decisions, like the P/E ratio and the PEG rate. Almost everyone has mis-measured EPS, and that means all those other measures are screwed up. It represents a huge negative right now on AAPL that shouldn't be there if people had a clue.
post #9 of 33

This guy is a total CLOWN.  Munster the CLOWN. 

 

I'm almost 100% sure he's a BEAR in BULL clothing.  He tries to carry himself as an Apple Bull (with a $105 price target) but is constantly raining on Apple's parade.  CONSTANTLY.

 

1. Said the record 9 million iPhones sold on release weekend was 'misleading' because of channel fill

2. Said the IBM deal is no big deal

3. Now saying the iPhone6 will hurt margins

 

His analysis of lower gross margins for the Sept and Dec Quarter are STUPIDITY.

Just look at last year:

 

2013 Jun Qtr - Gross Margin 36.9%

2013 Sept Qtr - 37.0%

2013 Dec Qtr - 37.9%

 

With the release of the new iPhones last year the Margins went up!!! 

 

Muenster is a total clown and I bet he's trying to tank the stock until his company closes their short and option puts.

post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Gross Margins ebb and rise. The important number to be watching is Net Income over stock count, or EPS. PED on 2.0 has a new article referenceing an article on Seeking Alpha that's a must read for people interested in AAPL. http://fortune.com/2014/08/12/math-error-in-apples-favor-its-all-time-high-was-110-not-100/

EPS feeds other measures used to make market decisions, like the P/E ratio and the PEG rate. Almost everyone has mis-measured EPS, and that means all those other measures are screwed up. It represents a huge negative right now on AAPL that shouldn't be there if people had a clue.

I am having difficulty understanding this (and PED's) argument.

 

Since you seem so confident about PED's argument, perhaps you can explain: If I bought and held my Apple shares, at say, $X (<$700; pick your number), and sold now at $100, how is my capital gain, and therefore, the taxes I have to pay on it, measured?

 

For example, suppose 'T' is the tax rate. Would my tax bill on the sale of each share bought be calculated on the basis of ($100×7 – X)×(T), or ($110×7 – X)×(T)? If the former, what is PED talking about?!

post #11 of 33

Munster has a really poor track record, so if anything, treat this as a contrarian indicator...

post #12 of 33
Genie in the bottle - who let him out?
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Gross Margins ebb and rise. The important number to be watching is Net Income over stock count, or EPS. PED on 2.0 has a new article referenceing an article on Seeking Alpha that's a must read for people interested in AAPL. http://fortune.com/2014/08/12/math-error-in-apples-favor-its-all-time-high-was-110-not-100/

EPS feeds other measures used to make market decisions, like the P/E ratio and the PEG rate. Almost everyone has mis-measured EPS, and that means all those other measures are screwed up. It represents a huge negative right now on AAPL that shouldn't be there if people had a clue.

 

 

Haha.  That article on Seeking alpha is two months late.  I wrote an email to Philip Elmer Dewitt over on Fortune about $110 being the new high.  That was back in June.  He graciously gave me attribution (he spelled it RadarTheCat with a C, but close enough).  You can read his short article here:  http://fortune.com/2014/06/08/apple-splits-7-to-1/

I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
Reply
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Gross Margins ebb and rise. The important number to be watching is Net Income over stock count, or EPS. PED on 2.0 has a new article referenceing an article on Seeking Alpha that's a must read for people interested in AAPL. http://fortune.com/2014/08/12/math-error-in-apples-favor-its-all-time-high-was-110-not-100/

EPS feeds other measures used to make market decisions, like the P/E ratio and the PEG rate. Almost everyone has mis-measured EPS, and that means all those other measures are screwed up. It represents a huge negative right now on AAPL that shouldn't be there if people had a clue.

 

 

Haha.  That article on Seeking alpha is two months late.  I wrote an email to Philip Elmer Dewitt over on Fortune about $110 being the new high.  That was back in June.  He graciously gave me attribution (he spelled it RadarTheCat with a C, but close enough).  You can read his short article here:  http://fortune.com/2014/06/08/apple-splits-7-to-1/

Well, RadarTheKat, let me repost my question to Sacto Joe:

 

I am having difficulty understanding this (and PED's) argument.

 

Since you seem so confident about PED's argument, perhaps you can explain: If I bought and held my Apple shares, at say, $X (<$700; pick your number), and sold now at $100, how is my capital gain, and therefore, the taxes I have to pay on it, measured?

 

For example, suppose 'T' is the tax rate. Would my tax bill on the sale of each share bought be calculated on the basis of ($100×7 – X)×(T), or ($110×7 – X)×(T)? If the former, what is PED talking about?!

post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am having difficulty understanding this (and PED's) argument.

Since you seem so confident about PED's argument, perhaps you can explain: If I bought and held my Apple shares, at say, $X (<$700; pick your number), and sold now at $100, how is my capital gain, and therefore, the taxes I have to pay on it, measured?

For example, suppose 'T' is the tax rate. Would my tax bill on the sale of each share bought be calculated on the basis of ($100×7 – X)×(T), or ($110×7 – X)×(T)? If the former, what is PED talking about?!
I"m not strong on taxes, but a tax rate is a tax rate, no matter how you divide the stock. It's not on the stock, it's on the capital gain amount. If you sold 1 share at $700 or 7 shares at $100, and you bought at $700, your capital gain is zero.

Also, that's far from the point of the article, which is that everyone is using the wrong values to get EPS. "Real" EPS is found by first summing up four quarters of Net Income, then dividing by 4, then dividing by stock count (somewhere under 6 billion now). But people are summing up the quarterly EPS and dividing by 4 instead. Two different numbers.

Finally, EPS is used in at least two very important gauges of value, the P/E ratio and the PEG rate. As a result, both of those are wrong as presently shown. An ancillary aspect of this that Radar The Kat gets credit for is the change in the all time high matching number. People think it's 100, but it's actually around 110 or more, not counting inflation.

Bortom line: Apple is being under-valued by these tools, and apparently few people know it.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybleiss View Post

Genie in the bottle - who let him out?

 

Get a stronger cork!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am having difficulty understanding this (and PED's) argument.

Since you seem so confident about PED's argument, perhaps you can explain: If I bought and held my Apple shares, at say, $X (<$700; pick your number), and sold now at $100, how is my capital gain, and therefore, the taxes I have to pay on it, measured?

For example, suppose 'T' is the tax rate. Would my tax bill on the sale of each share bought be calculated on the basis of ($100×7 – X)×(T), or ($110×7 – X)×(T)? If the former, what is PED talking about?!
I"m not strong on taxes, but a tax rate is a tax rate, no matter how you divide the stock. It's not on the stock, it's on the capital gain amount. If you sold 1 share at $700 or 7 shares at $100, and you bought at $700, your capital gain is zero.

Also, that's far from the point of the article, which is that everyone is using the wrong values to get EPS. "Real" EPS is found by first summing up four quarters of Net Income, then dividing by 4, then dividing by stock count (somewhere under 6 billion now). But people are summing up the quarterly EPS and dividing by 4 instead. Two different numbers.

Finally, EPS is used in at least two very important gauges of value, the P/E ratio and the PEG rate. As a result, both of those are wrong as presently shown. An ancillary aspect of this that Radar The Kat gets credit for is the change in the all time high matching number. People think it's 100, but it's actually around 110 or more, not counting inflation.

Bortom line: Apple is being under-valued by these tools, and apparently few people know it.

Taxes were actually irrelevant to my question. If capital gains are zero at $100, then the all time high (rounding off) is $100 (post-split), not $110. Period. 

 

PED's headline, for the record, was: "Math error in Apple's favor: Its all-time high was $110, not $100." 

 

I am afraid that (and its repetition) is nonsense. 

post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post


Haha.  That article on Seeking alpha is two months late.  I wrote an email to Philip Elmer Dewitt over on Fortune about $110 being the new high.  That was back in June.  He graciously gave me attribution (he spelled it RadarTheCat with a C, but close enough).  You can read his short article here:  http://fortune.com/2014/06/08/apple-splits-7-to-1/
Radar, as I said just now to another poster, you get full credit for pointing out the difference in matching the all time high stock price. But I guarantee you that PED posted that article, which is based on another article by Greg Morton, because I pointed out the article by Mr. Morton yesterday in the comment section of his earlier article.

Also, irregardless of who pointed out what when, the most important issue to remember is that EPS is being calculated wrong. That word needs to get out, because that bad number is hitting the P/E ratio and the PEG, both of which strongly influence the price of a stock.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Taxes were actually irrelevant to my question. If capital gains are zero at $100, then the all time high (rounding off) is $100 (post-split), not $110. Period. 

PED's headline, for the record, was: "Math error in Apple's favor: Its all-time high was $110, not $100." 

I am afraid that (and its repetition) is nonsense. 
What? You totally misread the article. It's stating that to get to a relative valuation, not in taxable dollars, but in stock value per share (or 7 shares now). You're mixing apples and hand grenades. Stock "value" is usually determined by the number of shares per earnings dollars.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Also, irregardless of who pointed out what when, the most important issue to remember is that EPS is being calculated wrong. That word needs to get out, because that bad number is hitting the P/E ratio and the PEG, both of which strongly influence the price of a stock.

 

I am afraid you're making rather strong statements here. The P/E ratio is simply a consequence of the observed stock price and the measured EPS (which, I agree, can be calculated incorrectly). It's current level can influence the stock price over some time horizon (which no one can predict) if we have a good idea of what risk-equivalent PE ratios are and we think markets are not reflecting prices efficiently.

 

As to the 'PEG ratio' (I low they're thrown around a lot by folks on the Street), can you please explain what exactly it means (where does the 'growth' in the PEG ratio come from?), and more importantly, a single peer-reviewed academic study that shows a link between PEG ratios and stock prices?

post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

What? You totally misread the article. It's stating that to get to a relative valuation, not in taxable dollars, but in stock value per share (or 7 shares now). You're mixing apples and hand grenades. Stock "value" is usually determined by the number of shares per earnings dollars.

Umm... value is what you can sell a stock for in the stock market. PED and his followers are trying to be too clever by half here. If Apple's high pre-split was $700, then the post-split high is $100. That's really all there is to it.

 

The rest -- how EPS is measured, how the PE is calculated, what the PEG is, whether shares were repurchased or not -- is irrelevant except for fancy-sounding market commentary that (consciously or not) pulls the wool over investors' eyes.

 

If PED's article is about all of the issues you're raising, he needs to, at a minimum, change his headline (to something like, "Apple's EPS is being calculated incorrectly"). It's borderline irresponsible to readers in its current form.

post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

This guy is a total CLOWN.  Munster the CLOWN. 

 

I'm almost 100% sure he's a BEAR in BULL clothing.  He tries to carry himself as an Apple Bull (with a $105 price target) but is constantly raining on Apple's parade.  CONSTANTLY.

 

1. Said the record 9 million iPhones sold on release weekend was 'misleading' because of channel fill

2. Said the IBM deal is no big deal

3. Now saying the iPhone6 will hurt margins

 

His analysis of lower gross margins for the Sept and Dec Quarter are STUPIDITY.

Just look at last year:

 

2013 Jun Qtr - Gross Margin 36.9%

2013 Sept Qtr - 37.0%

2013 Dec Qtr - 37.9%

 

With the release of the new iPhones last year the Margins went up!!! 

 

Muenster is a total clown and I bet he's trying to tank the stock until his company closes their short and option puts.


He was also soured on the Beats deal.  Nothing Apple does seems to satisfy him and he's always acting like he could run the company better than Tim Cook.  His name is spelled Munster, but he's becoming a "Muenster" and is beginning to smell like mouldy cheese.  Why's he announcing Apple margins going up and down?  Doesn't that happen with every company when coming out with new product?  Seriously, how could a company like Samsung maintain any profit margins at all with new smartphones coming out every month or so.  Normally, whenever a company has to retool for manufacturing, they have to take a margin hit until a breakeven point in sales is reached.  If Apple is able to sell 70 to 80 million new iPhones within a couple of quarters, they'd certainly recoup whatever margin hits they're taking.  Consider all the older iPhones Apple is still selling over the years.  No Android smartphone company is selling the same smartphones for that length of time.  Older iPhones must easily pay for themselves several times over.  Munster is seriously making me sick.  How do these analysts look at themselves in the mirror every morning without feeling shame?

post #23 of 33
Smells like a BULL took a dump in here: BS.
post #24 of 33

Wait, so margins take a dip when new products are released with features that require Apple to rejigger manufacturing and then increase as millions of said new product are manufactured throughout the year while input costs decline?

 

Sounds like black magic.

post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Umm... value is what you can sell a stock for in the stock market. PED and his followers are trying to be too clever by half here. If Apple's high pre-split was $700, then the post-split high is $100. That's really all there is to it.

The rest -- how EPS is measured, how the PE is calculated, what the PEG is, whether shares were repurchased or not -- is irrelevant except for fancy-sounding market commentary that (consciously or not) pulls the wool over investors' eyes.

If PED's article is about all of the issues you're raising, he needs to, at a minimum, change his headline (to something like, "Apple's EPS is being calculated incorrectly"). It's borderline irresponsible to readers in its current form.
Maybe the title is a bit misleading, although it was clear to me that he was speaking about equivalency.

But the rest is far from "irrelevant" if you are an investor in AAPL. OTOH, you can't make someone hear who doesn't have ears, so have a nice day.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am afraid you're making rather strong statements here. The P/E ratio is simply a consequence of the observed stock price and the measured EPS (which, I agree, can be calculated incorrectly). It's current level can influence the stock price over some time horizon (which no one can predict) if we have a good idea of what risk-equivalent PE ratios are and we think markets are not reflecting prices efficiently.

As to the 'PEG ratio' (I low they're thrown around a lot by folks on the Street), can you please explain what exactly it means (where does the 'growth' in the PEG ratio come from?), and more importantly, a single peer-reviewed academic study that shows a link between PEG ratios and stock prices?
Regarding P/E, it's usefulness is as a tool to understand relative valuations, nothing more. Are you saying that knowing relative valuations is unimportant in buying and selling stock?

Regarding PEG,!t's a similar tool though used for examining relative earnings growth. As for the rest, that's what the internet is for. I'm not here to educate you, only to suggest that there's something going on that people interested in AAPL should know about.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Radar, as I said just now to another poster, you get full credit for pointing out the difference in matching the all time high stock price. But I guarantee you that PED posted that article, which is based on another article by Greg Morton, because I pointed out the article by Mr. Morton yesterday in the comment section of his earlier article.

Also, irregardless of who pointed out what when, the most important issue to remember is that EPS is being calculated wrong. That word needs to get out, because that bad number is hitting the P/E ratio and the PEG, both of which strongly influence the price of a stock.

Yeah, my bad. We're referring to two different PED articles. The one I'm referring to was from June 6th and only speaks to the new high water mark for the company's overall valuation, ie, my observation that $110 is the new $705. Your point about how EPS is being measured is related, but a separate and new point that also needs to be understood by more people. Great job surfacing this.
I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
Reply
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

2. Said the IBM deal is no big deal

 

Let's meet back here in a year and see. My bet is that, while it obviously won't HURT Apple and is overall a good thing, the IBM partnership will turn out to be kinda of a "no big deal" affair.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

With the release of the new iPhones last year the Margins went up!!! 

 

Yes, because last year was an "S" year. Apple only has to retool iPhone manufacturing once every TWO years because on odd-numbered years they carry over pretty much everything except the PCB. Look at 2012 and 2010 and see if there's a dip. I don't know if there is or isn't, I'm just saying that's where you'd expect to see one. You'll also note that What'shisname's comparison was to 2012, not last year.

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post
 

Wait, so margins take a dip when new products are released with features that require Apple to rejigger manufacturing and then increase as millions of said new product are manufactured throughout the year while input costs decline?

 

Sounds like black magic.

 

Except the margins did NOT go down last year with the new phones.  They went UP.

 

2013 Jun Qtr - Gross Margin 36.9%

2013 Sept Qtr - 37.0%

2013 Dec Qtr - 37.9%

 

Bottom line is Munster needs to STFU because he has no idea if the overall company margins will go up or down.  Product mix, pricing, commodity cost, warranty accrual, software accrual, ect.  There are too many variables to make a general statement that margins will go down.  The clown is obviously trying to keep the stock down for his hedge fund friends.

post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post
 

 

Let's meet back here in a year and see. My bet is that, while it obviously won't HURT Apple and is overall a good thing, the IBM partnership will turn out to be kinda of a "no big deal" affair.

 

 

Yes, because last year was an "S" year. Apple only has to retool iPhone manufacturing once every TWO years because on odd-numbered years they carry over pretty much everything except the PCB. Look at 2012 and 2010 and see if there's a dip. I don't know if there is or isn't, I'm just saying that's where you'd expect to see one. You'll also note that What'shisname's comparison was to 2012, not last year.

 

So your taking Munsters word against Tim Cook regarding the IBM deal?  Tim Cook said it was a HUGE DEAL.

 

Apple did have to re-tool last year for the 5C.

post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

So your taking Munsters word against Tim Cook regarding the IBM deal?  Tim Cook said it was a HUGE DEAL.

 

I'm not taking Munster's word, I'm going with my own evaluation of the situation, but yeah, I'm saying I don't think it will be as big a deal as the hype is making it out to be. Even Tim SAYING it's huge doesn't necessarily mean that it really IS. What else could he say? That the deal will result in marginal incremental increases in iPad sales? He may have just been cheerleading. Or he may really believe it WILL be huge. I have my doubts. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

Apple did have to re-tool last year for the 5C.

 

Oh yeah... I forgot about that. Never mind! :lol: 

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunkzombie View Post

I don't understand the base points calculations. Where do those come from? Base of what?
"Basis points" are hundredths of a percent. So "200 basis points" is another way of saying 2%.
post #33 of 33

The pied piper at piper jaffray is not infallible = pun intended in deed.

Minute short time fluctuations in the numbers are not for the serious investor.

AAPL's margins are quite awesome.

His P/T is a joke as his low number will soon become obsolete. Do we know his time frame?

 

My P/T is crystal clear, ever since back in April ====== $150 before the end next year.

 

Disclosure = published my first switch reco of 2014 in April:

Sell AMZN, then $338 = Buy AAPL $70 (split adjusted).

So far, that worked like a charm. (Past performance etc.).

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