Analysts Debate: Is It Time to Sell Apple?

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The Motley Fool has been making successful stock picks for many years, but we don't always agree on what a great stock looks like. That's what makes us "motley," and it's one of our core values. We can disagree respectfully, as we often do. Investors do better when they share their knowledge.

In that spirit, we three Fools have banded together to find the market's best and worst stocks, which we'll rate on The Motley Fool's CAPS system as outperformers or underperformers. We'll be accountable for every pick based on the sum of our knowledge and the balance of our decisions. Today, we're reviewing our outperform call on Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) , which has recently released the iPhone 5 but made some missteps along the way.

Apple by the numbers
Here's a quick snapshot of the company's most important numbers:

Revenue

$148.8 billion

Net Income

$40.1 billion

Market Cap

$598 billion

Net Cash and Investments

$117.2 billion

Dividend Yield

1.6%

P/E Ratio

15.0 trailing, 12.0 forward

Key Products

MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad

Key Competitors

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  )
Samsung
Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN  )

Sources: Yahoo! Finance.

So it Apple's stock still a buy, or are the stock's best days behind it?

Travis' take
I'll admit that I was very underwhelmed by the iPhone 5 and am downright disappointed by iOS 6, especially the new maps app. This has made me rethink my own investment in Apple, and I wanted to take another look after these underwhelming releases and see if the stock is worth selling.

What we need to keep in mind as a backdrop is that Apple's two key markets -- smartphones and tablets -- are still growing rapidly, and while Apple may not have far and away the best product in each market, the company will still hold its own and has a strong legion of followers. Even if Apple loses market share, it could easily maintain revenue and potentially still provide a nice return for investors, so the big-picture view is good.

What has to be concerning is the level of competition in the smartphone and tablet markets. Samsung has arguably passed Apple in smartphones (and makes hilarious commercials poking fun at the iPhone 5), and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) is introducing another operating system that could potentially rival iOS. Apple once stood well above the smartphone market with iOS, but Android and Windows Phone 8 are closing the gap.

In tablets, Apple still has a clear advantage at the top end of the market, but the Kindle Fire HD from Amazon and the Nexus 7 from Google are going to eat into market share. These devices are in many ways inferior to the iPad for now, but in a couple of years we may be seeing them pass the iPad the way I think Samsung did this year with the Galaxy SIII.

But these strategic challenges don't make Apple a sell, because the stock is trading at a reasonable multiple and the company is still generating a ton of cash. Over the past year, Apple has generated $52.1 billion in operating cash flow and spent just $6.5 billion on capital expenditures. This is possible because Apple outsources its manufacturing and puts the onus on its manufacturing partners to spend on capital. This is key for Apple right now, because it still has a cash flow machine even if results don't grow the way they have in recent years.

There's also Apple's ecosystem to consider. Apple essentially locks device users into its ecosystem, which provides future revenue. This generates returns, but it also makes it more difficult for customers to leave the ecosystem once they're in it. Consider me one of these people. If I were a total free agent, a Galaxy SIII may be the phone I buy, but I'll soon upgrade to an iPhone 5 because I have a Mac, iPad, and Apple TV, which makes switching less attractive.

What I see in Apple is the same thing we saw in Microsoft a decade ago. The company may not grow or dominate new markets, but it will continue to be profitable and generate enough cash to satisfy shareholders. As a result, Microsoft's stock went almost nowhere for a decade, but the key difference with Apple is that the stock trades at only 15 times trailing earnings, which is much cheaper than Microsoft did a decade ago, giving investors room for error.

At this point, the market has priced in zero growth for Apple, and I don't think the company's growth days are over. A new Apple TV and a mini-iPad could boost results again, and with millions of customers still making lots of noise over every product launch, the stock is still worth owning. I'm not as excited about Apple as I was under $600 per share, but it's still worth holding on to for now.

Alex's take
The problem with being bearish on Apple is that Apple's been very good at proving the bears wrong. That's because, for the longest time, even the Apple bulls tended to underestimate the company's potential. We've never really seen a company maintain margins this high while selling so many millions of high-priced devices before. It defied almost everything we used to expect from the computer hardware industry, and that defiance continued for so long, many analysts simply recalibrated their expectations.

Now that we're well into the mature stage of Apple's product cycle, signs are emerging that the consensus finally swung toward hyper-optimism. With an army of little Gene Munsters anticipating a gazillion iPhone 5 sales on opening weekend, the only way Apple could have lived up to the hype was by exceeding it. It didn't. The pendulum swings back to bearishness quickly.

Here's the condensed version of post-release disappointment:

"Just 5 million iPhones sold in a weekend? That's pretty lame. I thought Apple would sell 10 million! And what the heck is up with Apple's maps app? It's so buggy that it almost drove me off a bridge! It might have been my fault, though. I was polishing my iPhone furiously at the time, to buff out all the scratches that it had right out of the box. The ticket I got afterwards cost so much that I won't have any money to buy adapters so my other iStuff works with the iPhone 5's new charging cable. ... Man, I miss Steve Jobs."

I've been one of the most bearish Fools toward Apple since Steve Jobs died, but I still can't bring myself to predict underperformance. I've pointed out that Apple's losing its cool cachet among the trendsetting young people whom it needs as brand ambassadors. I argued that its patent warfare with Samsung was a petty admission that the company doesn't have any new ideas, so it's just going to try building a wall of lawyers around its old ones. And just before the iPhone 5's release, I offered the same argument I'm making now -- Apple's becoming a victim of its own hype.

But I still can't call it an underperformer. Most of us can't, despite being so broadly disappointed with the latest release. The holiday season is still likely to be huge for Apple as the people who waited out release weekend look to upgrade. An iPad Mini, while perhaps not Jobs-approved, fits in with the post-Jobs strategy of actually taking the fight to Google and Amazon's alternative sizes instead of trying to float smugly over the tablet battlefield. Its brand power alone will guarantee big sales this year. By the time the results are in, all the nattering nabobs of Apple negativity should have had enough time to stew in their reduced expectations to give Apple enough room to beat the Street again. It's also important to remember that industry insiders do not represent the average consumer.

There's enough new-release momentum to make this another huge fourth quarter for Apple. The future is hazy any further out. By this time next year, Google's groundbreaking Project Glass might be reaching the earliest of its early adopters. If (and, I believe, when) that technology starts catching on, Apple won't have an answer -- just as Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) had no real answers to the iPhone. It's one thing to develop for a portable screen in your hand. It's entirely different to do so for one hanging in front of you, and Google has a multiyear advantage on that front.

In the short term, for the next few months, Apple will have the fundamentals on its side. After that, there's just no indication that it really knows what the next big thing will be. I'd like to revisit this call after Apple's fourth-quarter results are in next year, but I have no problem maintaining it through the holidays.

Sean's take
Apple sold through its initial stock of 5 million phones over the first weekend. The last time I checked, a company that's selling through its product is a good thing.

Under the tutelage of Steve Jobs, Apple went from a has-been to an innovator, and it continues to do so under new CEO Tim Cook. Whether Apple is able to reinvent the wheel is another story altogether, but what I'm trying to say is that Apple's products are so good, and its following so cult-like, that it doesn't have to.

Forgive the Matrix-like references, but there's little to suggest that Apple's growth figures are broken or that its peers are getting anywhere near the company with regard to growth. If Apple wanted to, it could simply put its hand up and say "No" to stop the bullets heading in its direction. That's precisely what it just did to Samsung in court, where it won a $1 billion verdict that vindicated Apple's stance that Samsung infringed on its technology. An appeal of the verdict is pending.

As for Apple's peers, many are scrambling for answers. Nokia would be wise to split its business into three separate components, as I've discussed before, because it's going to take years to carve out its niche in the smartphone market with the Lumia. Similarly, Research In Motion can't find its way out of a paper bag, with even the company's lingering enterprise customers growing weary of its stale designs. Unless the BlackBerry OS 10 is a game-changer, RIM is probably done for.

As Travis mentioned, Apple has the most amazing cash flow of on the planet as far as I'm concerned. That has to do with the fact that Apple products sell themselves. There's a reason we see so few Apple ads and such a ridiculous number of Samsung and Nokia ads; they have no choice.

The only thing that truly stands in the way of Apple and greatness is its supply chain. I've cautioned that demand far exceeding Apple's estimation could cause it to lose sales to rivals, but this scenario is still highly unlikely.

As a faithful Apple iPhone user (and someone currently waiting for his preordered iPhone 5 to arrive), I'm suggesting we stay long Apple.

The final call
We're clearly not as bullish on Apple's stock as we were a few months ago, but we're still confident enough to keep our outperform call.

The introduction of the iPhone 5 is an event Apple investors have been looking forward to for months. The stakes are high and the opportunity is huge, so to help investors understand this epic Apple event, we've just released an exclusive update dedicated to the iPhone 5 launch. By picking up a copy of our premium research report on Apple, you'll learn everything you need to know about the launch, and receive ongoing guidance as key news hits. Claim your copy today by clicking here now.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Fool contributors Alex Planes and Sean Williams have no positions in any companies mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, Sean at @TMFUltraLong, and Alex at @TMFBiggles.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Amazon.com, Google, and Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (41) | Recommend This Article (88)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2012, at 9:23 PM, commoncents33 wrote:

    <b>Apple once stood well above the smartphone market with iOS, but Android and Windows Phone 8 are closing the gap.</b>

    This is so typical of the kind of crap "analysis" on Fool boards: what in the world are you talking about vis-a-vis Windows Phone 8 closing the gap on the iPhone?? Based on what? Your anti-Apple fantasy?

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2012, at 12:03 AM, jhf678 wrote:

    I agree with the author that Windows phone is closing the gap on IOS. As hardware like Lumia 920 improve, people will want to try new things and fall in love with Windows 8 and eventually will be 9,10....

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2012, at 12:45 AM, iphonerulez wrote:

    I feel certain that Apple can still improve its hardware. The fact is, Apple has enough money to do any number of things. Hardware improvements cost money and Apple has the most money to throw at improvements. Certainly more money than Nokia does.

    Apple's falling share price has nothing to do with the internal wealth of the company. Apple is still sitting on $120 billion of reserve cash just as it did before Wall Street stepped all over it. Although Apple's next quarter revenue might not impress investors on Wall Street, the company is still pulling in more money than 98% of the companies on Wall Street which is impressive. Consumers power Apple, not those stupidly fickle Wall Street investors.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2012, at 4:18 AM, Videnak wrote:

    No. It is not the right time to sell Apple.... it is too late. :-)

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2012, at 6:44 AM, TimTomson wrote:

    Strong correlation between markets performance and stocks like Apple is well known.

    Shares were down sharply yesterday.

    David Kostin, Goldman Sachs's chief U.S. equity strategist, expects stocks to have another positive year in the year 2013. http://alturl.com/8eb3u

    "We forecast S&P 500 will reach 1575 at year-end 2013 based on our new 2014 EPS estimate of $114 and a fair value P/E of 13.9X," he wrote in a note to clients on October 5 2012.

    IMO now is time to buy AAPL on dips.

    Good Trading!

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2012, at 6:47 AM, cpemail wrote:

    Dead Jobs, Rotten Apple

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2012, at 10:49 AM, allstatelen wrote:

    The start of this article posed the question, "So is Apple stock still a buy...?" That question was not answered in the discussion - but what was answered is should it be sold. Please... is it still a buy NOW?

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2012, at 11:01 AM, NickFL wrote:

    Every time AAPL had a pullback - it proved to be a buying opportunity, so why this time is different?

    I think many analysts miss the fact that kids will buy a new iphone no matter what the cost is or if they can afford it.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2012, at 4:51 PM, DBrown7 wrote:

    Alex,

    Getting in touch with your inner Spiro Agnew (nattering nabobs)?

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2012, at 5:28 PM, eldetorre wrote:

    "I think many analysts miss the fact that kids will buy a new iphone no matter what the cost is or if they can afford it."

    This is precisely the problem with Apple. They are NOT a cutting edge tech company, they are a slick consumer device company whose hugest appeal is to a very fickle demographic. They have no moat. Patent wars have just begun and any patent reform in the future will hurt Apple. A patent for rounded corners on a mobile phone REALLY?!!!

    Mobile devices are in the same pre commodity place that PCs were years ago. It's only a matter of time before ubiquitous functionality and features become the norm.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2012, at 5:32 PM, tkell31 wrote:

    Morons were screaming it was a sell back around $535, and before that around $400, and before that it was a 100% sure fire sell at $330, and of course it was a sell at $200. Gee I think I see a trend.

    Apple will one day be a sell, but it's got another 6-12 months before that becomes a concern. I certainly wouldnt want to miss out on owning it when earnings get reported in January, but some people hate winning/money.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2012, at 5:33 PM, macgregor54 wrote:

    Here is some math...

    Multiply units sold by profits per unit on smartphones. You'll quickly note that no one is in second place. Everyone but Apple is tied for last.

    Samsung and Microsoft can sell all the units they want for free. My MBA calls that a loss.

    Don't be silly children. If you have trouble seeing this, and seeing the moat, and seeing the pipeline and seeing the sold out weekends and the continuing lead times on products and the absolute dominance of the patent position and the string of positive legal results and all you can see is a bogus map flap, your head is mispositioned in your rear end. And from there, you can see the imaginary Win8 phones.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2012, at 5:45 PM, IdahoAve wrote:

    Forward PE of 12, that twelve! Doesn't that just seem wrong. Cash, growth, dividends, new products, customer loyalty. Why are we trading at 12 forward earnings. Crazy.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2012, at 6:28 PM, ColoK wrote:

    All three of you are traders masquerading as investors.

    The apt comparision is not Microsoft but IBM of yesteryear. In 1956 IBM leadership passed from the recently deceased Thomas Watson to Thomas Watson Jr. What happened in the succeeding decade? Even more success.

    Apple has been the great wealth builder of the last ten years. Will it continue forever? No. But it has yet to stop building wealth. See IBM comparison.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2012, at 6:37 PM, zunguri wrote:

    I'm not sure where all this hope for WP8 devices is coming from. We'll see how the HTC 8X and Lumia 920 do, but it will take time for any dent in the Android+iPhone duopoly to appear. People mention WP gains but the latest numbers showed a drop in share due, in part, to RIMs surprising gasp/recovery. WP7 has some major flaws that are partially corrected in WP8 so maybe in 2-3 quarters...

    As for Apple, I see the overhang in the supply chain. It isn't just about the iPhone, it's about the iPad(s) as well. Even macs are selling better each quarter than I "predict" from previous quarters. So predictions that growth is going to stop just make zero sense.

    Therefore...please PLEASE sell AAPL in volume, preferably all your shares at once. Oh and convince every institution you can to do the same. ;-) I want YOUR selling to be reflected in the upside pricing in the option chains.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2012, at 9:26 PM, JungleGent wrote:

    Excellent post. The comments are also amazing. Apple does bring out strong feelings in folks!

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2012, at 12:50 AM, fkim wrote:

    People who owns Apple shares and product are just like a day dreamer. Borrow money then buy Apple shares and product-hoping uncle sam will pay for his or her borrowed money. We all know Apple is going down but do not want to admit.

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2012, at 8:55 AM, mrphil49 wrote:

    Bought Apple @$7. History tells us why Apple, nor anyone else, can be predicted, so long as the legal system has no respect for intellectual property. Bill Gates stole the Apple GUI & the Supreme court was too old to understand the issues so we got PC's. The Newton was a PDF but they fired Steve & so the Palm Pilot was born. iOS & closed system may seem un-American but business likes it & so do parents. So Google steals it. Again, Apple creates & others steal it. Why do all bearish analysists have no pride in an American company that makes money & jobs??? Only the analysists can kill Apple & they are willing to do so to keep their job. Truth. There is little in the press. Apple is a buy. December will be huge & none of you have noticed how important the purchase of fingerprint to open your iOS device makes Apple good for another 2 years!

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2012, at 11:31 AM, daveandrae wrote:

    Investing is relatively simple. "Investors" make it complicated.

    The only question someone should be asking themselves, as it relates to Apple is, "If I had 596 billion dollars, would I buy all of the apple computer company?"

    If that answer is yes, then you should be buying as many shares as you can afford. And if that answer is no, then would you buy even one share of the company's stock?

    One must never forget that the most dreadful losses come from not asking the basic question "how much?" Meaning, investing is most intelligent, when it is most "businesslike." Continuing to ask how much will not only keep you from buying high, but from selling low.

    Everything else, in my opinion, is noise.

    Personally, I don't think ANY company is worth 596 billion dollars. So I would pass at these market prices. This does not mean that the stock cannot go higher.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 12:15 AM, mikecart1 wrote:

    If you sell Apple, you watch it go up again and become depressed...

    When you become depressed, you wait for a new entry into Apple...

    When you refuse to re-enter at a far higher share price, you create a blog to describe why Apple stinks...

    When you create your AppleStinks blog, you get hacked by a bunch of angry nerds...

    When you get hacked by a bunch of angry nerds, you drive off the street and end up in a road side ditch...

    Don't sell Apple and end up in a road side ditch.

    :D

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 11:10 AM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    I don't think having a funny commercial is a reason to either buy or sell a stock. That is a pretty lame point actually. And I’m not sure what serious issues are in iOS6 other than the Map problem (which really is not that significant). It is still better than Android in most areas.

    Apple stills makes a quality product. I have had reliability issues with Samsung products in the past (like their crappy 32” HDTV with its sound board problems – check the blogosphere and you will literally see hundreds of posts about that).

    The main bear attacks against Apple are from the hired guns in the blogosphere, general Apple haters (don’t forget about 20% of the population are anti-capitalists and really do not like to see a successful company) and hedge fund managers like Doug Kass (he appears on CNBC way too much) who either got out too soon or didn’t get in soon enough.

    If anyone thinks that selling “only” 5 million units (25% higher than the previous model) of anything in 3 days indicates a potential weakness in a company I wouldn’t want them making investing decisions for me.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 11:17 AM, Mem wrote:

    Someone posted "Apple. They are NOT a cutting edge tech company" - If Apple is NOT, who is? Please, do us a favor and don't post such silly comments... As for "mrphil49".. You are the man... I couldn't have posted better... I am not an American BUT I just can't understand the mentality behind the way these analysts are thinking and trying to run down the stock of the very best American company which is offering the best products to the WORLD.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 11:23 AM, MasterOTUniverse wrote:

    Definitely sell Apple - the only corporation in the world that people actually WANT to give more and more money to - yes sell it! Sell it to me..

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 11:30 AM, Mem wrote:

    As for Google's Android, stolen product.. So how can it be competing with Apple?! Very much like the Korean cars who steal the design of their cars mostly from the German car makers but this is where the comparison ends as far as the quality and reliabilty concerned! The Android vs iOS comparison that these analysts are making is very much the same.. Google stole their product from Apple, period. They are running with it for now. Lets see what happens in 2-3 years time!! I don't see any of these analysts who are too happy to knock down Apple and say it will run out of steam without Steve but no mention of Android running out of steam!! The analysts are always comparing Android to iOS forgetting the very fact that Android is in fact a copy of iOS. So if they think Android is such a good product, surely they are admitting that iOS is in fact a better product!! My 2cnt opinion..

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 12:03 PM, achanz wrote:

    Apple's principle is to keep prisoners. Apple- dictatorship radiated after winning their lawsuit with Samsung and then demanded them to take Galaxy S III off of store shelves just before Christmas.

    Apple wants one apple world order! Consumers wants freedom of choice not totalitarianism!

    I have the pleasure to use both iPhone and the i9300s and I do edge over to the Galaxy.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 12:16 PM, sept2749 wrote:

    Anything can happen in the short term. However, I believe that AAPL still has plenty of life in it and could turn into one hell of a dividend growth stock. I don't believe any business fundementals have changed but the price fell hard. I think something like 68% of aapl shares are owned by instittuitions/hedge funds. These big players can bring the price down by selling large amounts of shares when the price is high and at the same time show some profit for their eager clients. Then, when the price is low enough They buy back in and ride it up again. It's tough for the little guy. Never know when to buy or sell. I try and follow the big guys.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 12:16 PM, wwt17 wrote:

    lots of disrespectul tones here among the posts.

    @macgregor54

    whether you think the i products are superior or not, i don't see the moat for apple. yes, it's true that many people want to own i products because it is a status symbol, but in many parts of the world apple is starting to lose its sparkle and shine. i feel that part of the allure of apple is the itunes store and linking all of your products throught the icloud (is apple going to sue me for using the word cloud?), but in korea, my current location, the apple store isn't very good. there are no movies or music, only apps and not very good ones at that. also, if my phone has a problem, i can't just take it to the store i bought it at. i have to take it into seoul. until apple gets the countries that it opperates in to allow it's users to have the full itunes experience and until it can make its after service more available, i feel it's going to lose sales to local devices. for those two exact reasons, i bought a galaxy s III. the hubris of apple resting on its luarals, expecting everyone to love apple forever, could very well be its downfall.

    cheers,

    wwt17 long appl @ 3% of port, but not sure for how long

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 12:27 PM, jlclayton wrote:

    It's interesting to me that when I read this article, I came away thinking that the Fool opinions were pretty much positive and still reflected that Apple is a great company with good prospects despite some possible challenges from competitors in the future. However, there are several comments from readers who seem to feel that anything other than a completely bullish analysis is Apple bashing and they can't handle hearing any other viewpoint.

    Apple is a wonderful company, and the only reason I don't own shares is because the price is too high to fit into my portfolio. The upside could still be quite high from here, but it also has a long way to fall if the company makes a couple of missteps or if one of the competitors is able to really make headway Their success story is great, and I would love to see it hit $1000 a share.

    However, there seems to be a great many people who want to put Apple on a pedestal and believe that nothing could ever happen to bring the stock price down. Believe in the products, believe in the management, believe in the stock--but manage this position in your portfolio like any other and be open to candid discussion about the company's prospects.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 12:37 PM, NickD wrote:

    Market cap doesn't really mean anything to share value.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 12:37 PM, 48ozhalfgallons wrote:

    I'm amazed that Sony hasn't sued the pants off Apple over the panoramic feature advertised on the Iphone5. Sony invented the technique and software for instant panoramic stitching way back in the early 2000's.

    Apple is a huge stagnant reservoir with a leaking dam. It's beginning to smell a lot like Kodak.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 12:37 PM, Irishbetter wrote:

    Show me the math on how you get zero growth priced in for apple. Nice commentary, but you have exactly zero quanitative analysis to back it up.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 12:39 PM, donklos wrote:

    Anyone who has owned Apple for a long time knows the stock's personality like they know their own children. Apple has a history of peaks and valleys. When you overlay the sales history, the large amount of positive analyst's projections, massive sales potential, large profit percentages, huge cash on hand, and not to be taken lightly, momentum of the company, this is a 'buy' opportunity because it's already lost an amount as shareholders have taken profits. Think of it like recharging a battery. The battery has just been plugged in and will be recharging. Look at the stock's performance over the last 4 years or so and you'll see the distinct peaks and valleys and the upward trend. You don't get to 600+ unless you go through a series of adjustments along the way. The smart day traders who see this have been making a killing along the way.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 1:13 PM, hneeser wrote:

    The fools are missing one single point. All the schools are starting to give their students an IPad. it is one of the best learning tools ever used in US education. The other part is right here in the little town I live in when the students get into 9th grade they get an upgrade from the iPad to a Mac Book. This alone is enough to keep Apple strong for many years. As the word spreads out and the education system gets on board, think of all the repeat sales to all the new students that are enrolled into the education system every year. I'm not an investment guru by any means, but my growth in Apple is the best stock in my portfolio. Apple is something I will never dump. The only direction it can go with all the growth in education is up.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 2:41 PM, Bling581 wrote:

    Apple is still going strong but the iPhone 5 lacks the wow factor that leaves me feeling completely satisfied with my 4S. Unlike my upgrade from the 3GS to 4S there's nothing about the 5 that really entices me to upgrade. Sure I'd like a bigger screen and a little faster hardware, but that's about the only things that catch my attention. Apple needs to come up with some creative ideas instead of releasing meager hardware upgrades every year.

    The readers comments are filled with obviously bias opinions. Apple did not create the idea for a smart phone with a UI but they did make it popular. To say that Android is a stolen idea from iOS is complete ignorance. There is some degree of copying, which is true in just about every area in the tech world. If a company is seeing a competitor do well with certain products why in the world would they not try to mimic the idea? This is what creates competition which helps create a healthy market. This is one reason why I'm against most of the lawsuits that Apple has brought against it's competitors for frivolous things.

    The stock for Apple will eventually go back up. Right now they're just dealing with the effects of the mistakes they made with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6. I think Apple would do better if they were a little more open with their software and ecosystem, but that's against everything they stand for.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 5:50 PM, ifixcomputers wrote:

    Comments on comments:

    I also bought, and sadly sold at $7 a share in 1996.

    The sincerest form of flattery, imitation.

    Every time apple comes out with an innovation, the rest are sure to follow. Usually it was always Microsoft. Safari had tabbed browsing, six months later Explorer and the rest all do that.

    As for the commercials, isn’t the Samsung ad a poor take off of the Mac vs. PC ads? Deja-Vu?

    Unimaginative. Remember the Super Bowl ads all began with Apple’s “1984” commercial, by Ridley Scott. To this day a mindblower, but also a for teller of christmas future. And yes, Gates gave a handful of guys all the cokes they could drink, (b4 Red Bull) and locked them in a room and asked they copy the best GUI OS out there. He was greedy. The difference became when Steve returned to Apple, and first thing stopped the selling of rights to the Mac OS to third party computer companies. Everything was brought in house, he hired an imaginative engineer, Ivey, and the lineup of offerings was trimmed down from 40 mac models to 4. The consumer desktop, iMac, consumer laptop, ibook. The Pro desktop, PowerMac, and pro laptop, PowerBook. By keeping everything in-house, he could control quality. When you install the OS it does not need you to find 12 different drivers to go with whatever hardware you purchased. They never made computers at Microsoft, just software. Next he see the music industry, because he had the vision to solve the royalties compensation issue, and he invented the hardware & software in house, again, so they functioned easily for the user. The iPad, I believe, was created to solve the publishing crisis. How many people still read the newspaper on a daily basis? There is not time, nor do they actually have news on TV anymore. Its all entertainment. So now you can subscribe to Wall Street Journal, or LA Times, and you don’t have to go outside and find the paper in the shrubbery. Nobody reads books anymore, the MTV generation has no patience, witness the movies filled with effects and no dialogue, let alone story. We lived through Ron Reagan, and George Bush Sr., then Bill Clinton left the country with jobs aplenty and our country’s deficit turned into a surplus. It took another Bush to spend it all, but there will be another Steve Jobs, a forward thinker, who knows his audience and keeps them in mind when creating his products. He’s out there now and will be found because he “Thinks Different”. Lastly to the guy who wrote the comment parody that ended with don’t get stuck in a ditch, very funny, well said!

    Lastly, if you think any of those google phones or microsoft or whoever will be the next big thing, the iPhone is what all the rest wish they were. Easy to operate, use, learn, and interact with the rest of your devices. It even gets along with windows, the biggest knock off of apple and never living up to apple’s ease of use and in-house strategy. So the maps were buggy, they will get fixed. Everything comes to market too fast these days. Thats why you have to update windows a zillion times before you can actually use it. They all release things with bugs, as for the scratches, get a case for your $700 toy to protect it, is it not worth the $5.00 to protect the delicate computer that works so easily? It’s a glass house for god’s sake. It was not designed to hammer nails. “And one last thing”, I cannot figure out those pretty google phones for the life of me. The iPhone did not change much, but if it aint broke… Anyone can download software to create their own app. Apple encourages it. But it must meet stringent rules so it looks and works the same on every iPhone. Maybe thats why the other phones are so hard to comprehend. Like Windows, Samsung does not make the OS, they license it, and twist it around so it looks cool to their tastes. Apple’s product has been pretty consistent looking, just a few new bells and whistles each outing. Things will get better, don’t be so impatient!

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 6:06 PM, ifixcomputers wrote:

    as for 48ozhalfgallons comment on Sony’s panoramic photo software, I could do that with an Apple product, QuickTime, in 1995. All my Widows loving companions, who called me “fruit lover” calling for the doom of Apple back then are using MacBook Pro’s today. They run Windows faster than any PC, again due to in house quality control. And anybody who thinks the Android software is no knockoff, is in denial.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2012, at 10:23 PM, readfor1 wrote:

    i'd have to agree, phone company's are catching up, and offering much cheaper prices. Apple got to the top but I'd think there profits are going to decline.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2012, at 2:04 AM, Steam666 wrote:

    It ain't hard to tell from this comments who owns way too much Apple. From what it looks like to me is poor Apple is very irresponsible to have so much stuff stolen from them. Apple was in trouble before Steve Jobs came back and now he's dead. A company that does not carry an app like Google maps out of spite ain't looking after their customers best interest.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2012, at 7:43 AM, fullcircle0 wrote:

    I subscribed to this service for critical, objective stock analyses to inform my investment decisions. It seems to me the founders have compromised their original calling by allowing shrill amateurs to come on board and pass off their cheerleading ways as analysi,s ala Sean William's laughable "analysis". The first principle that a professional money manager should abide by is to never fall in love with your stock. Sean's "analysis" reads like just that. I hope David and Tom Gardner are listening.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2012, at 9:57 PM, nchandha wrote:

    In my opinion, Apple has already reached the top. Looking at the chart, Apple has gone up almost like vertical line. From my experience, every stock that goes up at this pace usually crashes real bad. Apple will need a new breakthrough product to keep the stock up. They can't just release iPhone 6,7,8... by just changing the look and expect to break sale records forever because people will get fed up someday. Otherwise, they'll just become another Microsoft. Stable company but share price is going nowhere.

  • Report this Comment On October 14, 2012, at 6:10 PM, Dajalu wrote:

    I also sold my 200 shares of Apple at $20 in the late 90's. I now would have had 800 shares (with the two splits). Ain't selling again.

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