Another Little Bite, Maybe More to Come

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, October 23, 2012

OK, fine, if the Street is going to consider good news to be bad for the stock and bump the shares down, I’ll buy some more Apple (AAPL).

With the shares falling on news that Apple has revamped every single major product in their lineup over the last two months, just in time for the prime shopping season, I bought a few more shares and also placed another limit order to kick in if the stock drops a bit more following the earnings announcement on Thursday.

This is a freakishly busy week for Apple, with the new product announcements today (new iPads, new iMacs and minis, new laptops) and their earnings announcement in two days, so I have absolutely no idea how it will all shake out — but with the new products rolling out in prime holiday shopping season (iPads have typically been “stale” during Christmas shopping season, not this year), I expect we’ll see estimates raised … or, if analysts are not gutsy enough to raise estimates, we’ll see them beaten come February. Obviously a collapse in consumer spending would be bad, but Apple is still positioning itself as the premium product in all of their lines and, if the presentation today was any indication, they’re going harder at the competition now with comparison ads … at least for tablets.

Apple’s cheapest small iPad is clearly going to be a far “cooler” product than the Google Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire, and it costs more, so there’s clearly a gamble in here — Amazon is probably losing money on the Fire at $159 just like it has essentially lost money or broken even on everything elsel they’ve done for the last 15 years, Apple will make money hand over fist at a price point that won’t compete with the Fire or Nexus but will bring in people who wouldn’t have considered a $500 iPad. I can’t fathom how investors can justify Amazon (AMZN) at a forward estimated PE of 100 when Apple trades at a forward estimated PE of 10 — they’re both great companies, but Apple is far cheaper and far more profitable, and has grown much faster. (OK, it’s not a fair comparison — other than tablets they’re in very different businesses … but still, it serves to illustrate, again, how inexpensive Apple is and how much investors are pricing in the expectation that Apple ...

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