Surprise Add-On Buy

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, November 7, 2012

Well, I noted about two weeks ago that I still had a lingering Apple (AAP) limit buy order in, but that I didn’t expect it to be triggered during the (then pre-earnings) AAPL selloff.

Surprise, surprise, suddenly Apple is in “bear market mode” according to all the pundits, and the stock is falling further still. The stock dipped more than 4% for at least a brief while earlier today and triggered my final buy order, so I have now built up my AAPL holdings to just about as high as I’m willing to have them — this is now my third largest holding, after Sandstorm Gold and Africa Oil, and all three are in that top tier of my portfolio thanks largely to capital appreciation. My AAPl cost basis is now in the neighborhood of about $375, and there it will stay other than the small adjustments as I reinvest each quarter’s dividends — I won’t be buying more for the foreseeable future, and it seems very unlikely to me that I’ll be selling my shares.

Owning a dominant consumer products company with high margins and double-digit revenue growth is simply an easy choice — and if it happens to also have the strongest balance sheet in the world, a likely-to-grow dividend, and a huge and loyal installed base and “ecosystem”, well, that lets you ride out a lot of crises. AAPL is obviously a somewhat risky company because of their reliance on just two or three key products, but it’s also a stock that gives buying opportunities because of overheated hand-wringing about such products — they’ve refreshed every single product line just in time for their strongest quarter, and their products remain extraordinarily popular. They might not make the analyst numbers next quarter, as they sometimes do not, but if you price a company like this at 10-12X trailing earnings and it’s going to grow by at least 5% even if they screw up (analysts are projecting 20%+ growth still, and they delivered 24% growth last quarter), I don’t care that much about whether they make the numbers in any given quarter. When analysts are panicking about the company, the economy, or the latest product but consumers are still buying the latest product as fast as they can be built, well, that’s generally been a pretty good time to buy AAPL. If it happens to fall another ...

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