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  • Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Amazon & the case of the 'very bad' Q2

    Ever notice that regardless of how well or not so well apple does the pundits, funds, managers, etc all generally dislike it?  Everyone can acknowledge the multiple on the stock is very low and has been for a long time.  It seemed inexplicable perhaps up until now when we see the kind of declines apple had this quarter.

    Wall Street likes to look forward.  What you did for the street yesterday has little bearing on what it thinks you will do tomorrow and the next 5 to 10 years.  Wall Street is, and has been, betting that apple's fortunes will soon be in decline.  This past quarter appears to be the first shoe to drop for all those who believe this.  It isn't the fact it was still a large quarter for apple, but it was the TREND down that matters.  Investors believe this is a trend that will continue and where it stabilizes nobody knows but many think it will be at a lower base.

    I sold all my Apple stock in the 80's for a couple of reasons.  I knew the stock was hated and aside from the brief Icahn bump which turned into a momentum and chart player run up it was not going to be long until the hate was back.  Well here it is upon the stock once again. Second, I sold after hours during a conference call when Cook wrapped and made no announcement of a buyback, dividend or split.  Eventually, a many months later he did all of these after Icahn read him the riot act but not doing it a year earlier indicated to me management had no clue what it was doing.  Sold every share and redeployed the proceeds (which have far outperformed apple which is the worst dow 30 stock in the last year).  

    Wall Street is made up of both sides that make the market. Buyers and sellers.  Valuation is more art than science or math.  I look at the product cycles, lack of innovation, lack of management belief as indicated by insider selling, investor psychology and some other intangibles and I would only play Apple as an investment in one way.  That would be writing PUT contracts with strikes at 75 or lower and under a year. I think owning apple stock over 75 is just far too risky in the next 9 months.  If iPhone 7 doesn't absolutely crush it sellers will hope to get out before prices under 75 are hit.  I would not even write these PUT's either until the stock was 85 or lower because that will yield a higher premium on the PUT contracts and lower the risk.  If it doesn't hit 85 or lower I would just put this one in the too hard bucket.  Just because I like apple products doesn't mean I have to invest in the company.  9,000 other companies to invest in with less controversy and negative investor psychology to deal with.  

    I agree with the article writer on amazon.  The comparisons for a shareholder who owns Apple and not amazon must be infuriating.  This just goes to investor psychology. Amazon is a more loved company and stock.  People believe in Bezos and not in Cook.  Same goes for Tesla and Musk.  That said I won't buy any meaningful position in Tesla or Amazon because the valuations are insane.  The too one day may see an Apple like multiple when the love fades.  Trees dont' grow to the sky.  Just apply an apple multiple on either of these two companies and imagine the pain those shareholders could be in for when that day comes.

  • Review: Apple's 9.7" iPad Pro is professional-grade, powerful & pricey

    Apple once again missed on two things here.  Price and USB 2.  This is 2016.  USB 3.1 specification was released July 2013.  Why is apple almost 3 years later still screwing around with USB 2?  It takes a lifetime to backup my iphones and ipads on USB 2 to my computer.  USB 3 is over 10X faster than USB 2.  Why would apple do this? The only thing I can think of is a money grab. Maybe they are hoping they can squeeze out at least one more iteration of the ancient USB 2.0 before finally coming to year 2016 with USB 3.x and giving consumers one more reason to upgrade.  

    As storage has ballooned on ipads and iphones to 128GB and 256GB the absurdity today of running USB 2.0 is off the charts.  Sorry but Apple should be a leader here and be offering premium cutting edge interfaces.  USB 3.x isn't even cutting edge anymore.  It has been out in the wild for a long time and proven.  Their ignorance or intention here merely makes me want to look at alternatives more and more.

    I have an ipad air 2 and an ipad mini and was hoping to replace the ipad mini but the value proposition simply isn't there for apple right now.
  • Fourth-gen Apple TVs spontaneously awaken, power on their HDTVs, users complain

    I have a Samsung LED tv and the apple tv wreaked havoc on the set. It was blowing up the HDMI connection requiring unplugging the tv every time to get it back. My only solution was to unhook the HDMI and manually plug in when I want to run the apple tv
  • AI readers pick: Your favorite news app for iPhone and iPad is Apple News

    You polled an audience of hardcore Apple fans and followers and they picked apple news over the others?  Is anyone surprised?  Not sure this poll represents the whole USA or world though.  This is like polling who is your favorite baseball team at Yankee stadium.  Pretty sure the Yankees will win that.  

    Not saying the Apple app is bad.  Just the poll is meaningless because of the audience polled
  • Channel-check analysts warning of Peak iPhone are priming Apple shares for monster buybacks

    I think the best course is to simply sell the stock and buy something else that isn't a broken or hated ticker like Apple.  No matter what apple does their stock isn't going to get the respect shareholders want it too.  Just look at the returns the last couple years to see that.  So you can stick with Apple and 'hope" that the market all of a sudden thinks it is worth much more or simply reinvest the proceeds into other more "loved" stocks and stories with more upside.  Plenty of choices there.  

    I sold all my Apple stock some time ago and redeployed into Google, S&P 500 index and some biotechs which have all done well.  Had I stuck with apple I would be a very frustrated shareholder.  I just knew from how the street and media treated the stock constantly it wasn't going to ever escape this sentiment.  So apple will continue to trade at very low "cheap" multiples.  At such time when iphone YOY sales drop or margins fall (or both) the stock will have a big leg down as investors think the story is over in terms of apple's profit growth.  So goes iphone so goes apple is the mantra.

    Remember, Apple has to sell an unprecedented number of phones at least for the next 5 to 7 years to justify today's 7B market cap.  That is no easy hurdle.  If you think somewhere on that timeline there is a risk that maybe, just maybe, the unit sales or margins fall then there is going to be more pain and stagnation in the Apple ticker.

    Hoping that Apple stock will be loved by Wall Street and not be manipulated is just not a realistic investment strategy anymore.  I watched it for too long and got out because I knew things were going to flatline, underperform and eventually underperform even the index.  In the end the index is your bogey.  If your stock can't outperform that then there is no reason to own it.