#Xbox and #PS4 dogfight will exhaust each other. Situation ripe for a massive disruption. $SNE, $MFST, $AAPL, $GOOG,

Sony and Microsoft have launched their gladiator proxies in the forms of Xbox and PS4. Sales since launch seem to be even on a global basis. Brand loyalty is strong. No signs of any major defections. The product narratives are holding.

Consider this. Race fans will recognize the set up. Two strong horses running neck and neck fighting for every inch. The adrenaline surges, surges and then surges some more. One cannot let the other get ahead or its all over.

Usually the two horses cannot pace themselves and a third stalking horse comes out of nowhere, sweeps around in the last turn and makes a mad dash for the finish line leaving the two favourites eating dust.

The two are playing the same game. Corporate thinking is so us vs. them who really understand the landscape.

Possible disruptors could be Apple. The iPhone and iPad were pretty good. The app store has wide distribution. Google is just desperate the make Android work. The Chinese would love to take a run at this as well.

So sit back and watch the race. The harder the more likely they will fail.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Yelp Yapped. Hey Twitter would You do This? $YELP $FB $YELP #socialmedia

OK so for some very early Christmas shopping I’m thinking maybe my son and so-in-law would like some nice leather jackets. Pretty cool present I’m thinking.

Get on the iPhone mobile Yelp (NYSE:YELP) app and punch it up. Get a listing of leather retailers close and far away from me. Something to work with. Not bad.

Then they serve up the recommendation and want to take me to a burritos place. Like food burritos. I’m not hungry. SWM looking for shopping solutions should not be interrupted with rather stupid recommendations. This did not enhance Yelp shareholder wealth.

Have not used Yelp for over a week now. Know what I’m saying.

However in the past week I have eaten but not burritos and still open to looking at leather jackets.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Out there somewhere somehow a men’s leather jacket salesman wants to meet with me. Can social media bring us together?  Sizes would be medium for one and XXL for the other. Must be very cool. Probably black.

Apple Schizophrenia Distorts Long Term Value $AAPL

Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) is expected to show some short-term weakness. You know this because all of a sudden the PR machine is talking about new and exciting future product launches.

Stock prices are the present value of future earnings.

Everything cannot come out good every quarter. Business is too complicated. If a company can manufacture good every quarter something smells bad.

The market discussion on Apple is very schizophrenic. Investor behavioural behaviour case study at its best.

Buy on rumor sell on news is have a train wreck. News will be out shortly and rumour is out like right now.

Do not trade on todays rumour or todays news. Buy Apple if you believe in the story which has made billions despite the latest suggestions from Carl what’s his name.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective

Apple Door Crasher Data Seriously Flawed; Addiction Behaviour = Risk $AAPL, $GOOG, $BBRY, $MSFT

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) released new iPhones in 11 critical markets. Preliminary data indicates the expensive model is selling very well. Early adopters are driving this demand. People line up for days on end ahead of time sleeping on side walks if need be to be among the first to buy the phone. Not sure why Apple doesn’t auction them off to highest bidder and leverage the insane demand. Maybe donate money to charity or something good like that.

Do not be suckered by the addiction mentality of early adopters. Demand is a long-term equation not a one day door crasher sale. A buy or sell decision on one day data is foolish and incomplete.

A correct fundamental analysis would concentrate on how the product is being extended and if it fights off Android. Battles are fought not on one bullet. All generals know to prevail you need mass on the battle field. Speaking of which Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Nokia and Blackberry (Nasdaq: BBRY)

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on Twitter @financialskepti

Will Icahn Chip His Tooth on Apple? Will Tim Cook Look Tough Enough? $AAPL

Carl Icahn wants more cash from Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) and we all know Apples has it. Apple just recently started paying a dividend and perhaps is on the path to attracting dividend oriented investors.

What’s the game plan?

Tim Cook privately may agree that they have a lot of cash hanging around. Much of it has not been brought back to the USA because of that stupid tax law. But Apple has brought some back and paying the tax so it looks good in Washington DC. This may have been the deciding factor about why Carl Icahn decided to take a run at Apple. Tim Cooks big problem is that he cannot appear to be bullied by Carl Icahn. Carl Icahn has been less than gentle with some other prey. No one wants to see this at Apple.

Other companies who have attracted Carl Icahn’s have decided to come to terms and get it behind them. How much share repurchase will satisfy Carl Icahn? Will Apple even want to substantively respond to Carl Icahn’s suggestion. Apple shares are low so this is the best time to do a share repurchase. Value is created by buy low sell high.

Here are a few things Apple can do to thwart Carl Icahn and still take care of the shareholder.

  1. Increase the dividend rate and claim that they are returning capital to investors “Olde School” Carl Icahn has short-term objectives but a higher dividend yield in a rising interest rate environment can be argues as wealth enhancing.
  2. Introduce new products, get the Apple Hype Machine cranked and watch the stock soar to the heavens.
  3. Actually increase the share buy back some but not in the range that Carl Icahn wants.
  4. Let shareholders know what the true tax cost of repatriating funds on shore really is. Will the tax cost become prohibitive and make Carl Icahn look greedy, greedy, greedy.

Here are a few things Carl Icahn and supporters need to thing about.

  1. If the market crashes this fall should Apple be spending treasure to drive up prices that will not move upwards. Let the stock drop and then rebuy.
  2. Carl Icahn is 77 years olde (DOB Feb 16, 1936) I know he’s a doctor by training and looks fit but the original factory parts are near the end of their useful life. Death or severely debilitating medical condition is a high probability if you’re a life insurance actuary. This is not insurable.
  3. What if Apple just says no? What you gonna do? Sell the stock in perhaps one of the greatest entry point opportunities of the stock history. This is Apple. Investor opinion will not conclude management needs a shake up or something else. Carl Icahn simply wants to wet his beak and maybe Apple just doesn’t need to do anything just because its Carl Icahn.
  4. Strategic counter moves by Apple such as a major acquisition or two which reduces cash and makes his suggestions seem foolish.

Apple has enough cash to buy a huge aircraft carrier. Rename it Carl Icahn and then just sink it. Just for fun. And maybe they should.

Tim Cook needs to stride out of this with reputation more than intact. Enough Wall Street Bankers are more than capable of giving him a tutorial in financial cash management.

George Gutowski writes from a Caveat Emptor Perspective. Follow him on Twitter @financialskepti . He is pretty sure some aircraft carriers are for sale.

Five Reasons to Hate Apple $AAPL #iPhone #iPad $GOOG

Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) continues to generate controversy with declining margins and lower than expected unit sales of iPads. So here are a few reasons to really hate the stock.

  1. Despite competitions best efforts no one has delivered a knock out punch.
  2. $18.8 Billion returned to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases.
  3. Enormous cash positions
  4. Enormous cash flow
  5. History of innovative product offerings

I’ll stop it after five points. There are no examples of investments who can make these claims and be considered losers.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on twitter @financialskepti. Follow his evil twin who writes Wall Street Murder Thrillers on twitter @georgegutowski

Blackberry Busted Play or Classic Contrarian Tool $BBRY #smartphone $AAPL

Blackberry (Nasdaq:BBRY) is the markets favourite whipping boy. Everyone knows they have lost their touch. Everyone knows they are not the smart players in the smart phone market. Everyone knows to be hyper negative. Short position is about 37% of float.  That’s hugely bullish. all large short positions must be ultimately covered.

Cash position is about 53% of market cap. When was the last time that a stock value of 53% cash disintegrated. Margins are still positive and revenues are growing. They do not need to beat Apple. They just need to prove steadily increasing revenues and profits and investors will discover it. Currently no debt as well.

This is like an option on technology. Not everyone needs to be a world-beating monolith. You just need to prove you can create shareholder wealth long-term. However at todays annual meeting do not expect any major announcements. They’ll play out some disgruntled investors and look down the road.

With this cash position watch for some acquisitions. Blackberry needs to change the air inside a lot of journalistic heads and get them focused on another narrative. Once the I-bankers start to smell the acquisition fees watch the buy recommendations come out.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Apple Behaviourial Investing Conundrum Growth vs Dividend $AAPL

How many articles and blog posts about Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL). The conversations in the investor marketplace come down to two solitudes which have yet to resolve.

There are those who focus on Apple as a growth company. constant product innovations. Constant increases in revenues and profits. It’s all so damn sexy. New iPad. New iPhone. Apple is the one to beat. Samsung has a compelling offering and may take share so load up on the market place news.

Then there are articles on the dividend. The tone is how boring that Apple pays a dividend and therefore supports price because of yield. Boo Hoo how sad but that is what a dividend is supposed to do.

Apple investors are in a transitional frame of mind. Is this a sexy growth company or do the dividend investors start to pile in. The dividend investor buys because they believe in the financial metrics. The growth investor buys because they believe in the next generation of product offerings. Two very different orientations.

So what of it?

The growth investors have the greatest psychological risks. They are anchored in their perspective of Apple being exciting and growing in leaps and bounds. They will seek and receive confirmation with product announcements. When the news cycle lessens in intensity they will become discouraged and find less reason to hold or increase positions. Sell buttons get punched.

They forget what a dividend investor is anchored to which is yield. So if Apple is on your watch list as a dividend investor watch the frenzy cycle. There will be buying  opportunities disguised a growth investor sell offs.

This battle will go back and forth several times before the growth investors lose their anchor when they have lost enough of their money.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Nokia Short Seller List $NOK Apple Vulnerable? $AAPL Everyone cannot exit the room at the same time.

Image representing Nokia as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Here is a list of short sellers of Nokia (NYSE:NOK). They usually are long Apple (Nasdaq:NOK). So if Apple weakens some and Nokia gets a pulse watch for price action downward on Apple upward on Nokia. Everyone cannot leave the room at the same time.

Blue Ridge Capital: Short -1.34% Nokia

Coatue Management: Short -0.8% Nokia

Eton Park Capital: Short -0.95% Nokian Renkaat

Lone Pine Capital: Short -0.57% Nokia

Maverick Capital: Short -1.7% Nokia

Viking Global: Short -2% Nokia

Dichotomy here as some value investors have gone long the troubled handset maker due to valuation, while many GARP investors short the company due to its supposed market share problems.

Hedge funds often go long the ‘best of breed’ companies shorting the struggling companies in same sector.  When the struggling company gets better financial life signs. Value investors start to nibble and short strategy is no longer compelling. Short positions are ultimately bullish.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on twitter@financialskepti

Apple Not Today Skip Hype & Fury $AAPL $T $V $GOOG $MSFT

Apple Inc.

Apple Inc. (Photo credit: marcopako )

OK Today Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) will make the big announcement that everyone knows is coming. The 5 will come out. We all expect something very cool. We all know they probably have something more in reserve but this should be very compelling. Traders want to take positions based on this announcement. How many times do you think you can make money on major news when Apple is a master of new product enhancements and announcements.

Everyone is suddenly discovering that the new device will drive profits for many years to come. What you did not know that? So any stock price activity will be very frothy and if you like that black box high frequency approach go ahead. There is an off-chance the stock will disappoint; after all how often can a super juiced announcement work. Statistically we know they will stumble somewhere.

Apple needs huge drivers to maintain earnings. So if the 5 is huge that’s what they need. If the PE is pushed out it will be hard to justify on more than just hype about the future. So the bottom line for the skeptics is to watch the announcement; closely. But it is not enough to make a fundamental buy or sell decision.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on twitter @financialskepti