Dueling Fools Apple Core of Ailing PC Sector
Bear Rebuttal

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Dueling Fools
By Paul Larson (TMF Parlay)
September 5, 2001

I will agree with Rick that all of Apple's cash does provide something of a floor underneath the stock today. However, perhaps if Apple had been a little more aggressive in either pricing its machines or spending on research and development, the company's diminutive and shrinking share of the PC market would not have the Mac platform as a mere afterthought in most software developers' minds. Apple's balance sheet is fine at the moment, but the positioning of its business stinks.

Rick then concedes that Apple isn't all about being a box maker, and he's right! But this certainly is not by choice. The company's hardware business has been in retreat mode for years. Consequently, so is the company's software business. I've got to wonder how much longer the Apple platform can go before it loses critical mass altogether.

For better or worse, the market forces have us moving to a singular "Wintel" world, and I see no event on the horizon that will change Apple's feeble competitive positioning against its Windows-based competitors. That is, without the company raiding its beloved piggy bank.

Rick was on the ball was when he called fiscal 2001 a mess. Yes, I would call sliding sales, massive write-offs, and more red ink than you can shake a pen at a mess. However, I see little in Ap