With Google’s recent release of the updated Nexus 7 tablet at $229, a lot of comparisons have been made between it and other low priced tablets on the market. It sure seems like Google wants to put pressure on vendors to offer solid specs with affordable price tags for consumers. After all, this helps sell more devices, and that increases the potential market for Google services, which is where the search giant makes its profit. This isn't dissimilar to how the race-to-the-bottom in App Store pricing has commoditized software, which benefits Apple's hardware-centric revenue model. But it does prompt the question, will it force down prices, or catalyze a price war, such that nobody really makes any money on hardware? And if so, what will become of Apple's business model?
The results of fiscal Q3 are in, and Apple stock is actually up almost 4% in after hours trading. All this really tells us, of course, is that Wall Street is reasonably happy with the news. The Street expected an overall worse combination of Q3 results and Q4 guidance. So what does it all mean?
Yesterday Bloomberg put out a story discussing a likely deal between Apple and Time Warner. The idea, apparently, is to bring Time Warner cable subscribers the ability to watch content via the Apple TV box in addition to being able to use the traditional cable set top box or iPad and iPhone apps.
Over the last week Apple announced changes to CEO Tim Cook’s compensation. The changes are quite non-standard and there has been much discussion on the topic. Here’s the situation: Cook was granted one million restricted stock units after taking the CEO job. Some people incorrectly call these stock options. They aren’t the same thing but it doesn’t matter for this discussion. So, what's changed and what does it all mean for Apple investors?
Starting first thing in the morning, Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference opens its doors. Tim Cook and other execs will take the stage to share all that is new from Apple. And unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that Apple’s share price has dropped from $700 last September to below $400 in April, and has now recovered slightly to about $440 as I write this.
Last week Techpinions.com posted a really good editorial by John Kirk discussing how much of a joke it is to consider Android the winner in the smartphone space simply because they have the most market share. The very next day, Business Insider tech editor Jay Yarow pubished a post with a headline that read, “Apple Should Be Furious That It Has Such A Tiny Sliver Of The Smartphone Market.” Here's John Gruber’s response at Daring Fireball. And here's my take...
Ahead of the testimony it will be giving before the U.S. Senate tomorrow, Apple (via The Loop) offered up a nicely detailed 17-page PDF document with all sorts of good information inside. The most interesting number is this: Apple pays $1 out of every $40 of income tax collected by the US Treasury. Isn’t it incredible to think that one company is responsible for 2.5% of all US income tax collection?
It’s quite popular for people reporting on Apple’s financial position to quote the absurdly high level of cash the company holds on its balance sheet. At the end of last quarter the $145 billion is more than a rainy day fund, which is why the board of directors approved a massive stock buyback and dividend hike. Of course Apple won’t be using much of its cash to do this. Instead, it raised debt. Why? Because so much of the cash -- about $102 billion -- is not on US soil. Instead this money is held in other countries.
According to research by Cannacord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley, Apple still rakes in a whopping 57% of the profits in the mobile industry, while Samsung grabs the other 43%. Note that I said “mobile industry” not “smartphone industry”. In case you’re wondering why this adds up to 100% despite the presence of other players, it looks like the small profits from guys like BlackBerry and HTC are offset by losses from LG, Motorola, Nokia and others. The report also apparently goes into some detail on how Samsung should overtake Apple to be #1 in profitability. This is a red herring, and here's why...
In the few days that have passed since Apple’s latest quarterly results, people can’t seem to stop writing about the so-called stalled growth and “margin collapse” that hit the company. Ok, the term “collapse” is excessively stupid (you know who you are, stop it). Apple’s revenue is still growing, but profitability is down year over year. The profit decline is due to undeniably lower gross margin. But what does that mean?
On Tuesday Apple reported a pretty solid set of financial results for Q2 fiscal 2013. Revenue was $43.6 billion, which is up 11% year over year. But it’s also fair to point out that earnings were down year over year. In fact Apple posted EPS of $10.09 which is a decline from $12.30 last year.
There are plenty of industry observers and stock market pundits who are pointing out that “Apple is not a growth company anymore”. Factually, I think it’s better to say that Apple did not achieve earnings growth this quarter. They did achieve revenue growth (and quite reasonable growth), but they didn’t grow the bottom line.
Question is - can they get back to delivering growth? I think they can and I think they will. Let’s remember this is a long term game.
Today Apple stock dipped below $400, and is down about 5% as I write this. Yes, the overall market is down today. But Apple is down a lot more than normal. The reason? Cirrus Logic, a supplier of audio chips to Apple, warned today. To “warn” is Wall Street speak for press releasing preliminary results that are crappier than people expected.
Earlier this week, Mal Spooner from Money wrote a piece about the swarming of Apple stock. In the article, he equates street swarming -- when a gang surrounds and often attacks an unsuspecting victim -- to the swarming of a stock by short sellers. The main difference, he suggests, is that in a street swarming there is no real motive. Yet in a short-seller swarming, the motive is to rob investors by driving the stock price down.
In the not-so-distant past, Tim Cook has been quoted as saying he expects China to emerge as the company’s largest source of revenue. Back in January, we discussed this growth in China, along with Asymco.com’s estimate that China would overtake US sales at Apple by 2016.
Earlier today I had a quick chat with iMore’s editor-in-chief, Rene Ritchie about all the crazy rumours and bad journalism that Apple has had to deal with lately. But more to the point, we talked about how this stuff can hurt small time investors if they don’t know how to deal with it. So that’s what we’ll talk about here.
If you’ve been following the drama surrounding David Einhorn and his firm, Greenlight Capital, then this is all familiar stuff. If not, we’ve got the quick recap for you. A big hedge fund that owns Appel stock wants Apple to stop being so stingy with its cash and give some back to shareholders.
In an early morning San Francisco interview-style format, Tim Cook delivered his message at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. All said, I thought he said some pretty interesting things. Most of it wasn’t brand new information, but some of it was. Here’s a recap of the one hour presentation.
Yesterday the Wall Street Journal ran a story about hedge fund titan David Einhorn, and his firm Greenlight Capital’s view that Apple isn’t distributing enough cash to shareholders. Einhorn says Apple is behaving with a “depression-era mentality” according to the story.
Here we go again. Another Apple quarter that demonstrates long term strength in its business, and another quarter where Wall Street is waving its hands in the air claiming that the business is broken. Apple shares are down over $50 (10%) as I write this.
Always remember value investor Benjamin Graham’s famous expression: In the short term the market acts like a voting machine. In the long term it acts like a weighing machine. Today, the voting machine dominates. But over the course of many product cycles, those daily votes amount to nothing. That’s why the market is volatile, and why I focus on long term investing.